Because this is an important topic and it affects many, Mandi and I decided to blog together today and post this on both of our blogs in hopes of reaching out to as many of our fellow bloggers as possible.
Author Roni Loren was sued because of a photo she posted on her blog. (It happened to be one of those ‘mancandy/hot man’ photos that are popular on romance sites.) She recently blogged about her experience and educated many bloggers on what copyright and fair use is and how it pertains to us as bloggers. Her post is not meant as legal advice, but it certainly has some good information and is a starting point for many of us in educating ourselves on some of the laws we need to know to be better, more responsible bloggers.
How We Reacted
When we read Roni Loren’s blog post, we were shocked, and reacted by first, talking about this issue. We realized that it is not just crediting the source where the image comes from but not having the permission from the copyright holder of the image is where the heart of the matter lies. The fact of the matter is, we don’t want to infringe on anyone’s rights. Especially for the sake of a prettier blog post (or to admire hot abs).
We don’t think bloggers in general set out to violate copyright, but being ignorant of the laws or saying ‘everyone else does it’ is no excuse and we want to do the right thing. We took a good look at our blog posts through the years and deleted images we weren’t absolutely positive we had the rights to use. In the future we will take care to only post images we have the right to use.
Now We’re Reaching Out To You
Blogging (and ogling smexy men) is fun and we can still put pretty pictures in our posts and admire rippled abs, hard bodies and hairy chests. (Mandi says – what?) We just have to do it responsibly and respect the rights of others. There is a lot of information out there, and it is hard to wade through it all. We encourage everyone to become as educated as they can and share what you learn with your fellow bloggers.
There are many resources available where images can be obtained legally for free or little cost. Here are a few resources we know of (Be sure to read their Terms of Service and know the risks):
- IMDb (movie stills, posters etc.)
- Wikimedia Commons
You can also check Flickr and DeviantArt for creative commons images.
Roni Loren posted on her blog yesterday about a new group on Flickr started by Kristen Lamb where writers can submit their photos for other writers to use. I assume anyone can submit and use photos as well though. This is a great idea and hopefully a trend that catches on in our blogging community.
We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this topic!