Category: copyright infringement

Blog Photos, Disclaimers, Infringement;

Blog Photos, Disclaimers, Infringement

I think I posted about this a few times in the past, but I’m adding other links now, too. I recently came across a new blog that uses photos of men and they had a disclaimer at the bottom of the blog that stated they aren’t doing anything for profit and they will take down any photo that might be an infringement. However, even though their intentions are honorable and they aren’t actively trying to infringe, by using photos without permission that’s exactly what they are doing and it’s not a chance bloggers should be willing to take. If you don’t know the photo/image is fair use or in the public domain…for certain, without a doubt…the safest thing is to not post any photos on a blog that could land you in trouble.

I actually go through all my previous posts often to make sure I’m not infringing, and I have almost four thousand blog posts. I’m not blogging for profit and I’m not promoting anyone or anything here, however, that doesn’t mean I can just post a photo without permission from the person who owns the copyrights. If you notice, now when I do use a photo I provide attribution and I always link back to prove I’m not infringing. I have also heard cases where even that’s not completely safe anymore. In some cases photos were put up as fair use without the owner’s permission and the owner took legal action against the blogger.

And they don’t have to provide you with a take down notice. It’s not required by law, and you can read more about that here. This is a detailed post about fair use that may sound too cautious. But sometimes you just can’t be too cautious.

This post goes into more details about bloggers and photos. This states it very clearly:

  • DON’T: use Google Image Search. As tempting as it is, most of the images you will find are copyrighted images that aren’t fair use.
  • DON’T: ignore copyright law. Just because you find an image that you like online doesn’t mean you can use it on your blog. After all, images are subject to the same copyright and fair use laws as written materials.

  • I think that second line is extremely important.

    Here’s a blog post that actually mentions disclaimers and photos. But once again, it’s very ambiguous and as far as I know the copyright laws are just as ambiguous…they are all over cyberspace. And it’s not a chance I’m willing to take. But I do suggest reading this one in full, because it talks about other disclaimers, too. More important, you have to protect your own photos from infringement as well.

    This posts tells you where you can find safe photos to use on your blog. There are many posts like this with a simple search. I like wiki commons and

    Anything can happen now, and it can happen to small bloggers and the most famous people. I posted here about Sarah Palin’s S PAC being sued for copyright infringement by a New Jersey newspaper. and they mean business.

    The bottom line for me is don’t post any photos you don’t have permission to use, or that you aren’t sure are fair use or public domain. And if you choose to put up a disclaimer and you think that’s safe, you still might be taking a huge chance. You are basically using someone else’s property without permission.

    You can ask for permission. I’ve done that on occasion with models and actors and all have been gracious each time and granted me permission. But get it in writing first.

    Sarah Palin S PAC Sued for Copyright Infringement

    Sarah Palin S PAC Sued for Copyright Infringement

    This is something to take note of, because there are a growing number of litigious photographers, both amateur and professional, that are going after anyone and everyone for using photos without permission. I’ve been reading amateur blog posts on this topic for over a year, where harmless bloggers who didn’t think they were doing anything wrong wound up in litigation thanks to copyright laws that seem to be all over the place with anything online. And there is no warning take down notice required to file suit, as it stands right now. In other words, you don’t get a second chance.

    In this case, a Sarah Palin Super PAC was sued by a northern NJ newspaper group for using a photo without permission on a web site and on facebook. Yes, it can happen on facebook, too, if the photographer decides to pursue legal action.

    A New Jersey-based newspaper publisher is suing Sarah Palin and her political action committee for copyright infringement over the use of an iconic Sept. 11 photograph.

    A lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan federal court by North Jersey Media Group Inc. says Palin’s SarahPAC posted a copy of the photo on its website and Facebook page without permission.

    I rarely post any photos now, unless I take them myself or I’m positive they are free to share. I find them at places like, or at wiki commons. The photo I posted with my 9/11 post was found here. And frankly, I’ve even backed off on doing that because I’ve read that there are people posting photos in various places and claiming they are free to use and they really aren’t. In spite of this, you can still be sued for copyright infringement.

    I’m going to try to follow this to see what happens. I’m curious to see if eventually there’s a take down notice requirement enforced before someone can file a law suit, which is only fair to people who are not doing anything with malicious intent. And that’s probably most amateur bloggers like me who are just doing our best to get it right.

    With that said, if anyone wants to share a photo I’ve taken for this blog, feel free to use anything I put up as long as you link back to me and give me credit. You don’t have to contact me or ask permission. The link back to me shows you had no intent to claim the photo as your own.