I often get questions about blogging logistics from lawyers, and I’m consistently surprised by the lack of awareness of basic copyright issues.
No, you can’t wholesale copy someone else’s blog post.
No, you can’t clip photos from wherever online and post them on your blog.
No, linking to/attributing the original source does not make it OK.
As I point out on the blogging resources page, there’s no excuse for abusing copyright when it comes to photos. It’s very easy – and far more authentic – to use your own photos. And there are plenty of free/very low cost options for licensing photography.
And now, Getty Images has added a new option with lots of potential. They’ve opened up the doors on a vast trove of photos, new and old, and made them available via embed code. Easy, simple, and free.
Simply go the Getty Images website, search for a photo, and click on the little embed icon in the lower right corner under the image (it looks like this: “</>“) and copy the embed code that appears into your blog post. Not every image on Getty is available via this method, but apparently millions are (including the “Queens Counsel” photo, above).
Is it a perfect solution? No. But if you need that perfect picture, it’s nice to know there’s about 35 million options available at Getty Images. And it’s far better than ripping photos off the web and hoping you don’t get caught.