How to Ensure Your Redesigned Site Uses Images Legally
Although copyright laws may not cover usage of online images, that doesn’t mean you can use just any image for your website redesign project. A lot of people do it yes, but it’s not right and could get you in trouble. Here are some suggestions to ensure everything is aboveboard.
Create the Image or Shoot the Photo
Since you’re redesigning the page, now is a good time to start using your own images. As long as you take the photos or create them from scratch, then they’re yours and you can do whatever you want with them.
Copyright and Plagiarism
One of the reasons why you should redesign a website is to make it stand out from the rest, and the best way to do that is avoid plagiarism and any form of copyright infringement. Although the law against plagiarism tends to vary, copyright violation can have serious penalties.
Second, it’s not enough to give a “shout out” or link back to the person or site that owns the image you’re using. Some might argue that artists would prefer to have their works exposed to a wider audience, but copyright laws exist to give them the option to do it or not. In other words, it is up to them, no one else.
If you really want to use another site’s image, then ask them first. Most people on the web are reasonable anyway, and if you ask nicely they’ll probably let you use the images.
Use Public Domain Images
There are literally millions of public domain images on the web that you can freely use. Contrary to what some believe, many of these are high quality and suitable for use in professional websites. Best of all these are in the public domain so you can use them without any attribution or copyright violation.
Learn about Creative Commons License
For many people, the term Creative Commons License has become synonymous with free images, and in many cases that’s true. But the fact is there are several types of Creative Commons, and many of them require attribution of some sort. These people don’t mind if their images are used, but they dictate the rules how these will be used, and if you’re redesigning a website it’s something you need to keep in mind.
Finally, remember that usage permission only covers certain aspects. For instance, you may ask and get permission to use an image on your redesigned website, but that doesn’t mean you can use it on your Facebook or Twitter page.
Finally, remember that just because an image doesn’t have a “©” doesn’t mean it isn’t copyrighted. To avoid problems, it’s best to assume that any image you find on the web unless it’s in a public domain site, has a copyright.
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