October 19, 2009
All Your Images Are Not Belong To Us
The other day, a friend of mine asked me for help looking up specific images online. When I found out that it was for a published project, I told him that he can't just take whatever pictures he wants off the internet. He could get into big trouble for copyright infringement.
And he says to me, "No it isn't. The internet is public domain."
Um...no. Materials found on the internet are not public domain.
You may notice that I've added a disclaimer to my blog stating that most of the photos and videos on this blog are not mine. They aren't. I don't claim that they are. I suppose I could do one better and put source links under each photo. Since this blog is not for profit, I don't really run too big of a risk in getting into trouble for using images that aren't mine. When I used to write anime and manga reviews though, publishers requested that I only use their sanctioned images.
It's unlikely that anyone will give you a hard time for using images from the internet for a school project or private blog, but when you get into the professional world, you will need to either provide your own images or purchase them from a stock image source. Here are some examples of places you can legally purchase images from:
Big Stock Photo
Stock Photo Expert
EDIT: How appropriate that I should post this on the day that the Shepard Fairy case in fair use vs. the Associated Press is back in the news.