Are You Sure You Can Use That Photo?

Question markDo you have a genealogy or family history blog? If so, then you have very likely run into a dilemma that all bloggers face, eventually. You just found the perfect photo to go with your blog. Are you sure you can use that photo? Here are some tips to help you find the answer to that question.

Is the photo yours? You are allowed to use your own original work on your own blog posts. It belongs to you. One thing to consider, though, is the people who are in the photo. Before you post a photo of your living relatives onto your blog, be courteous and ask them for permission to publicly post their image.

What if the photo, artwork, or image is not something you created? That is where things start to get tricky. An excellent resource that can help you understand whether or not it is ok to use a photo can be found at The Visual Communication Guy blog.

It is a flow chart that gives the answers to many commonly asked questions about whether or not it is ok to use a photo. Start with the blue box that says “Can I Use that Picture?”. It will walk you through from there.

The infographic points out that yes, you can use your own photos in your blog. However, you still need to be careful if your photo is extremely similar to someone else’s. That could put you in a sticky situation where another photographer believes that you used his or her photo instead of your own.

There is plenty of other useful information in the infographic. It explains what the fair use questions are. It also reviews some things to consider regarding images that are in the public domain or that are protected by creative commons. If you have no idea what those terms mean, the infographic can help you to learn more about them.

There are many people who are new to blogging that believe that they can grab images from anywhere on the internet and stick them into their blog. The reality is that there are rules that govern whether or not a photo or image can be shared.

One should not go to Google, click on “images”, and grab photos from it for your blog. People think that if Google posted it that it must mean anyone can use those images. Not so! Individual bloggers must always check to make sure that they really can use that photo before putting it into their blogs.

Image by Alexander Henning Drachmann on Flickr.

Related Articles:

* Copyright Photos

* To Use or Not To Use

* Copyright Laws and Genealogical Data

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