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Question: What About Using Google Images?

Question: What About Using Google Images?

Question: I sometimes just Google an image and use it on my blog, but I’ve heard that is this a copyright law violation. Is it and what should I do? – – – – – – – – – Any image, by default, is the copyrighted property of the photographer (or anyone who bought the image from the photographer). Technically, you should have permission to use any image you find on a search engine image search. That permission can be: Explicit permission that you write and ask the owner for, or the site has specific instructions on using an image and how to properly credit it. Implied permission because of the nature of the content or because there are general statements on the site stating it’s okay to use the content. On a practical level, if you properly credit an image (in the absence of a prohibition of use  from that source), you are typically okay with using an image unless you are using it in a marketing or income producing effort in which case you should ALWAYS seek explicit permission or purchase royalty free images.  Again, if you are using an image as part of a visual that produces income (a product, ad or marketing campaign) you better be VERY diligent in getting permission or you may find all your profits going to the owner of that image. Most photographers love to have their images used liberally but the whole point is for the exposure. If you don’t credit them and link to them, it does not benefit them. Professional photographers will most likely be selling the use of their images in some manner, so you should be particularly diligent when using considering those. From my experience, I can tell you that 99% of the time, people don’t care if you use their photos; most of them will want you to credit and link to them, others will want payment.  A few won’t care what you do with them but don’t assume that. In all cases, unless there is clear permission to use the image, or you have purchased the image, you should seek to get permission. Err on the side of caution and you won’t find yourself being called a thief. If there is clear permission, make sure you conform to their instructions on how to credit the image. Note: Google does not own those images nor can they grant permission to use what you find in a Google image search. You have to go to the...

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Question: What About Automatic Music Playing On Blogs?

Question: What About Automatic Music Playing On Blogs?

Comment from reader: Automatic music – I’ve commented on it sometimes on blogs but was often told “you can turn it off if you want” – well yes but I shouldn’t have to – I should have the choice to turn it off – or “sorry you don’t like my choice of music” – it is not a matter of whether I like the music or not. – – – – – – I don’t like music automatically turned on either. Not because of the song choice, but because the music player is typical buried way down low in some obscure location and I have to find it, and turn it off every time I visit that blog. My OPINION: put your music player at the top, and INVITE people to listen and enjoy your selections. If you choose turn the music on automatically, at least put the OFF button up high in an immediately discernible location and make it CONVENIENT for people to turn off. That is just good manners and being courteous to your readers. But… it’s YOUR blog. There is no “right or wrong”, just opinion. I don’t let CRITICS dictate what I do on my blogs, but I also DO NOT turn a deaf ear to legitimate criticism or common sense standards that help you give the best experience to your blog visitors. After all, should we embrace a personal choice that alienates people? Sometimes, yes, depending on the issue (if it’s a matter of integrity). But as a rule, we should very thoughtfully consider what we choose to do with our blog in light of the “visitor experience”. Automatically playing music can keep readers AT WORK from visiting (but they shouldn’t anyway, right? However, statistics show that work day visits to blogs are by far the highest percentage in general), it can hinder visitors with slow Internet connections, and it can put off readers who just simply get tired of all the blogs that start with music every time they visit. Do whatever YOU want for YOUR blog, but at least make it easy and convenient to turn off the music for those who don’t prefer it. Final Advice Put your music player at the top and INVITE people to listen to your favorite selections. Or, if you want to start the music automatically, put the OFF BUTTON at the top so it can be immediately accessed. Readers who do not LIKE automatic music will recognize your courteous...

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