Copy and paste, it’s easy online with images, videos, article posts, but are you infringing on someone’s copyright? Copyright laws were established long before we were sharing “freely” online, but that doesn’t mean that creative work isn’t protected.
In the late 1980s a law went into affect making all works copyrighted the moment they were finished. As soon as you put the final touches on your drawing, story, graphic, copyright law applied. That means anyone who wants to reproduce that work in any way had to ask permission first.
Now, creators who want to share their work–scientists, educators, companies, artists–have found a way to reserve some rights while also giving you and anyone else permission to use their work with the Creative Common (CC) license.
What does this mean for your business?
Say you found an infographic you want to use in your blog post, but it’s protected by a Creative Common. What does this mean for you? Well, it depends on the elements involved.
As long as you give credit to the creator, attribution, you can share any CC, but other rules may apply. Added elements of a creative common license include the following:
- Non-commercial – you cannot make money using the image.
- No derivatives – you cannot manipulate the work in any way.
- Share alike – you must have the same restrictions and access on your work as the original work has on it.
Creative Common is a great resource for you because there are artists out there who want to share their work with you and help you jazz up your blog posts, electronic communications or annual reports. Want to take them up on the offer? Search for creative common work: music, photos, anything.
Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s always free. Images go a long way in providing a sense of connection and feeling to any post or publication. Just remember to give credit where, when and if appropriate.