Not for commercial use

Talk about your horror stories … this is a bit of old news, but not for some. Bloggers beware: you are not immune to copyright infringement and the obnoxiously large fees that come with it. Ragan talks about their $8000 mistake in their story, “How using Google Images can cost you $8000.”

It’s a scary notion that is not just a cautionary tale for commercial sites; there are numerous instances of common, non-profit making bloggers such as myself that have been fined thousands (or millions) for mistakenly using copyrighted images. Know the laws! 

The U.S. Copyright Office offers great information on whether you can use someone’s work. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

You can be held liable for copyright infringement even if:

• It was an accident
• You take it down
• You edit it
• You cite the owner / creator / photographer
• Your site isn’t commercial
• You include a disclaimer
• You found it on the Internet 

Safe blogging!

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