Of course we all want to do the right thing and give credit where credit is due.
Unless of course you’re a major douchebag, and if you are, you’re probably not here reading my fancy words. You’re out leaving asinine comments on news blogs with improper grammar and incorrect facts. Jerk.
Now that we’ve proved you to being someone who wants to do the right thing and not a douche, you’ll want to give credit to image creators when you use an image on the internet. Whether you’re pinning something to Pinterest or using an image in your blog post, doing what you can to find the original source makes you a good person.
Baby Jeebus and Oprah want only good people for their Rapture Army.
I’ve talked before about copyright laws and Fair Use, which basically says that as long as you attribute works to its source and you’re not using copy-written material in a manner which is denigrating to its intended purpose, you’re allowed to share images on the internet. I’m not a lawyer, but the lay person’s understanding of Fair Use is limited by its ambiguity. If you’re confused by all of the legality, use the expired food rule: when in doubt, throw it out.
You’ve found an image on the vast, beautiful internet that you want to use in your blog post or pin to Pinterest. But you haven’t paid for the image, you didn’t create the image, and you don’t know its original source.
WHAT DO TO?
You do what you can to find its original source! This is where we thank the Google Gods for Google Image Search.
I did this exact process last night while looking for an image to use in a Curvy Girl Guide post, and in under a minute, I found that the image I liked had a copyright and had been used without attribution many times over.
Seeing that I’m not a douchebag, I didn’t want to perpetuate using the image without credit, especially when it was clearly for sale on a stock image site. Using the image could have opened up CGG to copyright infringement, and lawdy knows, I don’t want to lose my job.
I searched for and found an image that related to “sex education,” but I want to know who to attribute as its original image source.
- Open a tab for Google Image Search.
- From the page on which I found the chalkboard “sex education” graphic, I clicked on the image, dragged* to the Google Image Search tab, then dropped it into the search box.
- The magic Google fairies do the work for me and find everywhere on the web where this image has been used.
- Being the ishy-smart person that I am, I know that the original upload would most likely be the largest size for the image.
- Click on “More Sizes” then sort your results by largest image first.
THAT is most likely the original source of the image.
Oh look! A visual!
I’m on a Mac, so click and drag works for me. I think if you’re on a PC, you’ll have to save the image to your computer then upload to Google Images, but the search would be exactly the same.
VOILA! I’m not going to use the image I found because it’s clearly for sale to use, and because I’m super cheap, I want a free image.
NOTE: Even if you’ve gone through all of the steps above and have not angered Baby Jeebus and Oprah, if someone asks you to remove their image, remove their image. It’s not worth your time or money to use an image which you don’t have permission to use.
It’s my way of staying in Baby Jeebus’ & Oprah’s good graces.
Oprah image used with Creative Commons attribute