American based romance author Roni Loren, has revealed that she has been sued for using images on her blog which she did not know were protected by copyright. Roni had been using images found on the Internet to illustrate her blog posts, until a photographer contacted her with a take down notice. Although Roni quickly removed the copyright image from her blog, she was forced to pay compensation and says that it was “a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didn’t have for use of a photo I didn’t need”. The author has since changed the images on 700 blog posts to avoid the same mistake happening again.
In the UK as well as the US, the law does not support the re-use of copyright images for purely illustrative purposes. However, you can still use images on your blog posts. You just need to make sure you are using images with permission from the copyright owner. Getting permission directly can be difficult so the best way to do this is by using the Creative Commons Search facility, which finds images and other media that has been licenced for re-use. Usually you will need to attribute the image to the owner and always check the licence terms for each image. Further information can be found in the section on Sourcing and Using Resources on this website.
To read more about Roni’s story in her own words please see her blog: http://www.roniloren.com/blog/2012/7/20/bloggers-beware-you-can-get-sued-for-using-pics-on-your-blog.html
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