In today’s digital age, you have almost unlimited access to material like photos or articles because of the internet. But before you repost the image or quote someone on your own social media and personal sites, make sure you know the rules of violating of copyright laws. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
There are a lot of great articles out there on the Web about copyright and what you are allowed to post and not. Here are my top five tips for how not to violate intellectual property or copyright laws!
- The most obvious and most important- know the basic rules of copyright in order to not violate them. Only the copyright holder can 1) reproduce the work themselves, 2) be the only one to distribute their work publicly, and 3) post and share their work publicly. For more information, read here.
- Know about Creative Commons. Creative Commons is a great website where people publicly share their work and you are well within your rights to reproduce their work. The best way to avoid violating copyright laws is to find copyright free images and this is the best place to start.
- To use someone’s image, make sure they give you consent. Whether that means contacting the photographer directly or using a site like Creative Commons, Flickr, iStock, where the owners have already given consent, make sure you have that consent before you post.
- While images are the easiest media to wonder about copyright, someone’s words can be under copyright too. Short quotes from someone else’s blog or social media is under fair use, but you should know the rules between fair use and copyright too. For more information on that, click here.
- My final tip is if you aren’t sure, don’t post. Don’t take the chance that you won’t be violating copyright or intellectual property laws. Try your best to find out if you are allowed to post their material but if you still aren’t sure, find other material that you are sure about.
People love having their work distributed and shared and some people don’t- so make sure you are following the copyright laws and attributing work to the people who made it.