Pictures & Copyright

We bloggers use a lot of pictures in our posts. Some are taken from tumblr, some are, or just google. Some credit, and some don’t. Today we’re going to talk about copyright issues.

Not Linking & Crediting Back

A long time ago I got a mail from WordPress. I did not link back and credit a picture that I used on my blog. They wanted me to delete it, or they were going to permanently delete my WordPress account.


Of course it’s fair to the original posted to link the picture and credit the original poster. Even though it says so in the TOS of WordPress — which we never read it, just admit it — some new bloggers might not think about it. Or they may think that because they don’t have so many views yet, no one will notice. But you’re wrong on that part. I don’t have a lot of views, yet, I had to remove the picture because I was violating the copyright rules.


Copyright is a completely different thing. ‘copyright’ gives the author, the creator, the original poster of the picture, work, text or whatever the legal right to decide when, where and if their work ever gets published. You gain those rights on your blog posts.

Example: The moment you type your text out in existence. You decide whether to publish or not. Nobody can copy or republish your work without your permission.

It doesn’t matter if the image has been used many times by different people, so you don’t know who owns it, or to ask permission to. If you are going to post an image that has been used and shared for thousands of times, the real owner of the image — in theory — can still sue you, and everyone else who copied and republished the image.

All this may sound like it could stifle most forms of sharing ideas, criticism, teaching, and so on. And that’s why the courts made up an exception for “Fair Use” of other people’s work, which eventually got written into the copyright statute. The problem remains that nobody, not even judges, can tell whether a particular use in a particular setting is “Fair” enough to be okay, until it goes through a court case. – Tom Collins

Can I Use It Or Not?

It’s important to learn when it’s okay, and what makes it okay to use other people’s work. even if you can’t get permission from the original owner. Some factors like using it for criticism or education, non commercial use, using it in a way that doesn’t harm the owner’s right to sell it.

It’s simple.
If you don’t know if you have the right to use the image of someone else, then don’t do it. If you don’t know who the original poster of the picture is, then don’t use it.

Creative Commons

With Creative Commons (‘Some rights reserved’) you keep the copyrights as the creator of your work, but you give permission to others to ‘spread’ and share your work. So people don’t have to specifically ask you to use it, they can just take it, but in order they have to link back and credit the picture they are going to use.

If you’re going to use a picture, it’s important to the check the license of the picture. On sites like it’s possible to do so.

The Creative Commons license is build up with four different conditions.


Attribution (by)
Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.

gelijkdelenShare-alike (sa)
Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work.

niet commercieelNon-commercial (nc)
Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.

geenafgeleidewerkenNo Derivative Works (nd)
Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.

CombinationsIt’s possible to combine these conditions together. Mixing and matching creates a total of sixteen possible combinations.

All Rights Reserved

All Rights Reserved means that what creator of a book or from another work doesn’t want to give up his rights (copyrights). So you’re not allowed to share it, copy it, or sell it.

With you can search for creative commons pictures, which will link you to the original poster where you can take a look at the licence.


Pictures by


8 thoughts on “Pictures & Copyright

  1. I wonder about this myself. Often , I’ll track a pic along several links, and when I determine none of the links is the original owner, I give up. If it seems like a general pic or a pic anyone can get (like a pic of Beavis and Butthead, for instance) I usually use it with no credits… Everyone knows it’s not mine, and I only actually “claim” my own pics by putting my own name underneath…and sometimes not even then. LOL

  2. You beat me to it, I planned to write something similar.

    +1 for explaining the Creative Commons. I must point out a mistake though. Share-Alike and No-Derivative are mutually exclusive, they cannot be used together as they have an opposite meaning. Thus, only twelve combinations are possible.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s