Blogs are super essential to your business, so when it comes to writing them, you want a great picture to finish the job. People might even go to your blog based on the picture. Why? Visualization is everything. So you start the search for that perfect picture, you find it, and it speaks to you, saying: “Put me in that blog post!”
Then there's the catch...
A problem that I am sure everyone has run into, at least one time in their blogging, is the issue of copyright infringement. The U.S. Copyright Office defines copyright infringement as follows: "As a general matter, copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner."
In layman's terms, you can download the blog picture but did you read all the small print? Do you understand it? There are so many rules that you can get lost trying to figure them all out.
HubSpot recently wrote the blog, Copyright Law on the Internet is a Total Train Wreck Right Now. Truer words have never been spoken! There are so many great pictures that we "can use", but it’s just not worth the risk. Especially when it comes to our clients.
So what to do? Well, here at KBK Communications, we decided that we would use our own pictures. We looked through old pictures, and we started to go out and take pictures of anything that could be used for our blogs. Turns out, we had a pretty big variety of pictures to choose from.
Here are some tips for using your own photos:
Look back at all your pictures (you may want to stick to pictures you have uploaded).
Keep them as professional looking as possible.
Always have your phone on hand and be creative. If you think it would be a great picture, take it.
Take a lot of pictures of objects, for example: clocks, office supplies, animals, food.
Have fun with it!
Copyright Infringement: Serve and Protect
Obviously you won’t always have the luxury of using your own picture. You may not have a picture for the subject of the blog you are writing, or you may not feel it is professional enough for your client. So, if you have to use an image from a stock photo image website, make sure you read everything in the terms section. If you have to, reach out to the company and explain your situation. Ask them if it is ok to use that particular image for that purpose. Be specific. Protect yourself and your clients. You are their online bodyguards, after all.