I Prefer Generic Images
One thing I have learned in the last 15 years is that copyright and blogging is a bitch. That is a bold statement so let’s dissect it. I am a huge supporter of protecting one’s creativity. I am also a huge supporter of blogging. The problem is that platforms like WordPress has made writers lazy. Instead of making people go outside and take nice pictures for their blogs, they go to Google Images and rip something for their post. I don’t blame them, our society kind of lends the voice of acceptance for this behavior. Of course though, people get surprised when they receive a DMCA notice, or get directly messaged from the copyright holder.
Just because you didn’t know, doesn’t make it justified and I get that. I am also guilty of having the same behavior. I am overly guilty of it on social media though. It’s so easy to share something and run with it. Now I try for original content (OC) at all costs if it can be done. If it can’t then I try to exhaust resources to ensure I give credit or contact the photographer/creator before I share.
With all of that said, I often opt for a simple 300 x 300px graphic that I whip up in Fireworks. You will notice that I use them here on this site. I have found that unless the image directly supports your words, it doesn’t matter to the reader. The image just visually breaks up the page. So it doesn’t need a stock image or something unique. Just create something and make your words mean something. You don’t have to infringe on someone else if you just take a few minutes and make something. I know in a fast-paced world it is hard to shake off the desire to grab, post, and move on. This is something I am focusing on in 2014 and beyond. (I admit that last sentence felt a bit Buzz Lightyear’ish)
So my question to you is simple. What is your view on using images that aren’t yours? Have you had a negative experience with using images from Google? Have you taken a better look at what you are posting?
Someone on Google+ asked what people use for images and I mentioned that I have a decent camera and Photoshop. I will go outside and take a bunch of pictures of flowers, scenery, or whatever else and import them into Photoshop and post on. Depending on the project, I will determine how easy that method is to implement. It’s not for everyone, but neither is a DMCA notice. I am always looking at protecting myself and still providing quality information. As a professional this is very important to me. I also don’t need other professionals questioning whether I really am either. It’s a balancing act and one that I am determined to do correctly.
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