A good bit of my time is spent on research. Not long ago, while looking for information on one thing I came across info for another thing and wow ... ! I knew there had been lawsuits circulating but had no idea they were mushrooming, why they were on the increase and that they're costing unsuspecting internet users lots and LOTS of money!
There are stealthy, well-placed set-ups being engineered that are designed to entice and hook you. They’re hidden in plain sight and you’ve possibly been exposed to them in great number already without even knowing it via internet search engines.
Doesn’t matter if it’s Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge--any search engine can take you to the land of woe if you’re hunting for an image to use for personal or professional projects.
Images gleaned from basic search engine image-caches are usually owned. Sometimes an image owner doesn't care, and may even be flattered, if someone else uses their image in a project.
Images populate a screen based on words used in a search. Images that have tags attached to them will be those most likely to populate your screen in the highest ranking.
That's the point of tagging them. Tags are keywords that identify information to help it show up in more readily in internet searches.
Below is a screen shot from my laptop showing the images that populated when I typed the query, what are internet tags into the search field on Google Chrome, then ticked the Images option. The highlight squiggles are just some added color to differentiate the images the search populated from the top data on the screen. There are many more than you can see in the screen shot, lower on the page, that I could have scrolled down to view.
Images available on the internet don’t always come with a watermark designating it as an owned image that can only be used by you with the permission whomever owns it. A copyright doesn’t have to be issued by a government agency, although it can be. Whether it is or isn’t, if an owner can provide proof that an image is owned and someone uses it, they are within their legal rights to pursue the image-thief for monetary compensation which can add up to huge-whopping-amounts of money.
In researching this post, two headlines blazed across my screen. You can click either of them to open a page to the actual posts and read them for yourself.
There will always be folks who have bad intentions in their heart, those who make a living by getting over on others. I know that many people using the internet aren’t out to steal images from anyone. Millions of internet users don’t even realize the images they pull up in a search aren’t there for the taking. They just hang out there on the page, like a roadside tree full of fruit. Thing is, if the tree is owned, its owner can sue you for a lot more than a bushel of whatever fruit you picked.
The sad part about this is there are people out there that are manufacturing images, making them available in internet searches and attaching tags galore to them.
After they're uploaded and available for viewing in a variety of searches, the owners just sit and wait, like roadside bandits, until some unsuspecting net user comes along looking for an image, finds one that suits them, takes it and incorporates it into a project (like a blog post, email, social network poster). Next thing they know they're on the losing end of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
Just don’t go there
Before you get discouraged, wondering where you’ll find images to use when you don’t have a supply of your own, take heart. There are some excellent sites that host caboodles of images for free. You can find them by doing a search for royalty and attribution free images.
Some sites are larger than others. Some are also easier to use than others. My favorite is Pixabay (pixabay.com).
I love Pixabay because it’s easy to navigate, easy to explain to others how to use, has a massive amount of quality images to choose from and users can easily tip the photographers who provide them.
Tipping isn't required. I just do it because it's a great way to support the shutterbugs for their work as indie biz owners and I can do it easily via PayPal. It's the same way I earn money as a writer and photographer, but via my own platform here on flashPress.
There are other image hosting sites to use but Pixabay has my needs covered so well, I seldom look elsewhere when I don’t have an image of my own to use or one from a close friend or colleague. Each time I incorporate another photographer's image, it's an opportunity to give them a shout out and help their business and presence in the indie biz community grow.
For example purposes, below is a Pixabay image I procured for this post. If you click the pic, a page will open to take you to the image designer's profile page and gallery on Pixabay.
Pixabay doesn't require attribution (saying where the image came from or who the photographer is that took it) but I attributed it anyway because it's a good gesture and an excellent habit to get into. One of my own readers recently mentioned to me that they love to read the attributions on images and are always disappointed when they don't see one when an image is included in a post.
So, attributions not only help the photographers and graphics designers but they satisfy genuine interest in readers as well. ☺
Hope I’ve shared enough info here to warn you off from snagging internet images from general searches to use for personal or business purposes. If you know someone who might, please consider forwarding a link to this post to them. Better safe than sorry especially when sorry can be huge-whopping expensive.
That's it for this one!
God bless you, thanks for the read and see you next week!
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