Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Picture is Worth a Thousand...Dollars?

I'm back from my awesome vacation to Paris, and I have a ton of pictures to sort through and get printed for my scrapbook. I'm hoping to be able to use some of the pictures as inspiration for my writing, and some will probably end up on my blog. I love blogging, and I like to "pretty up" my posts with pictures.

I used to copy images from other blogs and websites. I'd read warnings about using photos without permission, and but I'd seen other people just do an image search and use pictures they'd found online so I figured it was okay, as long as I cited my source. Lately, though, I've seen more and more warnings against "borrowing" pictures. I guess it makes sense. As a musician, I'm familiar with copyright laws. As an author, I'd be incensed if someone took something I wrote and used it without permission or compensation.

The final straw came when I read Roni Loren's blog post about her horrific experience after she used a picture on her blog and was contacted by the photographer. It wasn't enough that she took the picture down right away - the guy demanded compensation, and Roni was swept up in a very expensive and frustrating experience. You can read about it HERE.

So now my blog is plainer, but it's legal. I've taken down pictures that don't belong to me, and I'm going to hope nobody who has seen them is going to take action against me. And if I want a picture, I'm going to use images that I took myself, or that I purchased. Paying for an image is a lot cheaper than being sued.

                                                            Patty Kiyono

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