A while back, I shared a post on How to Blog Like A Pro in my Blogging 101 series. One of the points I shared is, “Never post a picture on your blog that you do not have permission to use.” I felt like I needed to add to that info and that’s why I’m sharing Blogging 101 – Are You Stealing Photos?
Frankly, I’m still amazed at how many bloggers post photos that are not theirs. That’s why 99.9% of my photos are my own. If I don’t use my own, I pay to use them or have permission to use them. I listed several stock photo sites in the How to Blog Like A Pro article.
Recently, a blogger that I admire and have
stalked followed for a while endured a very unpleasant experience. She’s a big-time blogger and I love everything she does.
This blogger is a pro, but when she first started blogging, she innocently shared a photo on her blog that was making the rounds on Facebook. The picture went along with a blog post and she thought nothing of sharing it. She did not claim it as her own. I think she even made references to how popular the photo was and how everyone was sharing it. The photo was everywhere!
Fast forward a few years and she receives a cease and desist letter from the attorney of the owner of that wildly popular, much-shared photo. She was also asked to pay a large sum of money for restitution. She shared her experience in order to encourage other bloggers to go back and check their earlier posts to be sure they haven’t used a photo that they didn’t have the rights to use.
Helpful Hint: You can’t just see a photo you like, save the image and place it on your blog.
In my must-read How to Blog Like a Pro article, I also shared the link to the site, TinEye. You can go to TinEye and upload an image URL and do a reverse image search. It will show you where the image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist and if there is a higher resolution version.
Bottom line: You can also see if any of your photos have been stolen from your site! And other sites can see if you’ve stolen pics from theirs!
When I first started blogging, I was strolling through Pinterest one day and saw a photo I had taken and it wasn’t something pinned from my website. I clicked on
the MY photo and it took me to a website that had stolen my pic and was using it as theirs. Because I was new to blogging, instead of outraged, I was a little flattered. I chose to let that one go. Now, I would nicely ask them to remove it.
Also, just because you site the source of your photo, doesn’t make it legal to use, unless it is public domain and/or Creative Commons-licensed content.
Please, check your site and be sure you are only sharing photos that you have the right to share. Most bloggers are not trying to steal photos. They simply don’t know.
Have you ever had someone steal your content/photos? How did you handle it?
More Blogging 101:
Disclosure: I am not an attorney. I just think I am. Everything I’ve learned about stealing photos has come from doing what I do best – research. 🙂