Am I a Blogging Felon?
May 1, 2007 8 Comments
Maybe I’m opening up a can of worms here. So be it.
One of the things I enjoy about blogging is the immediate gratification. Think, write, post. But, of course, many of the posts are enhanced by some form of graphic or picture that relates to the theme. And therein lies the problem.
It is very easy to use Google Image Search (or similar engine) to find an appropriate photo or graphic. Or, to grab a company logo that is the subject of a post. But then what? Should there be some form of attribution for every image used? Are some images (news items, logos, Hubble images of galaxies, crowd shots, etc.) so generic as to be “understood” as usable without attribution?
Would trying to contact every possible source of an image found somewhere on another site so slow down the process of blogging as to make it overly cumbersome? What constitutes “fair use” if some image is not being re-sold?
I have found a few free/cheap image libraries – is anyone using these services with good success? Is anyone drawing from services like Flickr, contacting photographers and using images with attribution?
Most images are not necessarily the proper size – is it a bad practice to grab and re-size or crop, then store them elsewhere (so as not to use up someone else’s bandwidth by hotlinking)?
Sometimes it seems like the path of least resistance is a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, but I’m wondering it that’s not just another way of playing fast and loose with copyright issues.
What do you think? How have you wrestled with and resolved these types of issues? I’d really value your input, and think that the discussion is an important one for us to have as bloggers.
(image above found at nedarc.org, and adapted)