Week 7 – Copyright of Images

by Cristina Melchior

A lot of people do not know that the internet is not a lawless field. Not everything that comes to the mind is allowed to be published. There are rules and laws created just to protect some rights from being violated by the users of the internet. One of these rights is the copyright of images. Copyright is a form of legal protection that is automatically assigned to content creators at the moment of creation. By the moment you take a photograph, you own the copyright to it. Many people assume that if content is online it is public domain and it is not copyrighted. This is a mistake. Content that is published online is still protected by copyright law.
When it comes to photos assume it is subject to copyright and do not use it without the appropriate permission. Some online images such as the one from Flickr are free to use. Others images such as the ones from Getty are commercial. If you want to use an image published on the internet, be sure to create citations. If the image is available, do not forget to give the credits. Make sure to create image citations accomplishing the same requirements as a text citation. It may sound an excessive care but you certainly will avoid future problems.
Creative Commons (CC) is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools. Creative Commons (CC) licenses are a suite of different licenses that facilitate the sharing and reuse of information and creative works. All CC licenses require the image user give credit to the creator of the image. In the case you want to use an online image and you are not sure about the rules, this is an excellent place to start learning about copyright of images.

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