Copyrights and legal use of graphics and photos

Using digital images and photos

If you think that searching for images online, uploading, and then using them on your own site, social media pages or within commercial services is simple thing, and does not deserve to stop at, you are likely breaking the laws of publishing and intellectual protection. You may be subject to successive notifications and may end up with large fines and legal prosecutions.

In this article, we will clarify the most important issues related to the copyrights of graphic elements and photos to our followers and friends.

What are the copyrights of photos and graphic elements?

Copyright is a federal law that define a form of legal protection for the works created by the original person. It was created to encourage production and creativity and not to monopolize work and hide it from others.

The contents of a work created by a person are automatically protected by copyrights and require no further action.

The moment you take a photo or publish a work, you are the only one who own their property rights automatically, without even registering that work with any company or organization. You do not need to fill out any legal form related to those images or graphics, and you are solely entitled to sell them to whomever you want.

You also have the right to sell ownership, and publishing rights to whomever you want. Many photographers make a lot of money by selling, and publishing their works. On the other hand, the person who wants to use this image must have a direct license from you.

Images on public domains

Some people think that the images or graphic elements on public domains within the wide Internet are free and available to all. This is also incorrect and you will need to verify those items, and search for the license or buy it for reuse within your business.

Some third-party companies buy licenses from photographers and publish them through their websites for commercial purposes. As there is an agreement between them and the owners of these items they promote the work for them and share profits through the sale. These companies often display the rights of ownership of those images and ensure that they are protected by them.

Fair use of graphics and images.

In some cases, you can use graphic elements or images in study projects or to market non-profit services, and you must indicate the source and owner of those images.

It is important that these images relate to this information:

  • Author
  • Date created
  • Image title
  • Image type
  • Name and place of the photograph sponsor
  • Date of the image view or use.
  • Internet link (URL) for source site.

All information may not be available. You can use only the available ones.

Anyway! In most cases, the obligation to refer the source of the images may not be exempt you from legal prosecution, and violation of intellectual protection laws. It is important that you examine and read the details of protection and publishing of the image, before you start using it from the beginning.

Conclusion

Think practically before using images and graphic elements within the Internet. Do you have the right to use it? Are you ready risking your site or page? Many publishers, photographers and designers have international protection for their works called DMCA, an abbreviation of  “Digital Millennium Copyright Act” that criminalizes the manufacture, dissemination, tools and services that attempt to evade the means used to control copyrighted material.

We will publish another article explaining the proper ways to use images and how to obtain them without violating or breaking copyrights.

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