I'm not the best or the most prolific photographer, but I know it's good blogging practice to include a photo with every post. When I don't have a personal photograph to supply, as in the post below...and this one, I turn to Flickr. Flickr is a great resource for a wide range of photos, but you can't just use them willy-nilly, even if you credit the source. You might get away with it, heck, you'll probably get away with it, but if you want to make sure you're always in the clear, read on.
Here is an informative and well-written blog post that demystifies the confusing (to me, at least) world of copyright and Creative Commons. An excerpt:
The kind of photos you want to look for will depend on where you want to use them. Flickr images either fall under a traditional copyright or Creative Commons license.
You’re forbidden to use Flickr images marked as copyrighted (or ‘All rights reserved’) for your own purposes unless you get explicit permission from the author. Most of us don’t have the time or the patience to put up with the hassle. Here, I want to focus on Creative Commons licensed photos.
Read more here.
My take on the matter? I'm definitely guilty of pulling images from Flickr without following the proper copyright procedure. I'd always thought if I cited the source, it was ok, no matter where it came from. I've never really payed attention to those copyright settings, even on my own photostream which I now see is "all rights reserved" even though I'd be totally fine with someone using my photos as long as they link back. The craft and design blogging world is a little more insular and, dare I say, nicer than the blogging world at large. I've never had any complaints about use of photos and I imagine most people are similarly ignorant about the copyright laws and don't mind the use of their photos in appropriate ways.
So what will I do know that I know the official rules? Well my practice for using images from craft and design blogs will remain the same. Like I said, it's an insular group and in general people are fine with proper citation of the source. When I choose to use an image outside my little bubble of the blogosphere, where I won't have any connection at all to the photographer and am simply looking for a specific image to illustrate a concept, I will follow the Creative Commons licensing rules. How about you?
(Photo via Flickr)