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Images in your blog

In a recent talk I gave, I recommended using images to spice up your blog. I think it's great, and I often include images in my posts where I can. I typically grab screen shots, or use pictures I have, but I have linked from the Internet.

However someone asked me about copyright. My reply was that linking an image from another site should protect you from that. There was a case that went to through the courts that held a link, meaning a hot link (using the "img src=" tag), wasn't a copyright violation. But copying the file to your service and using it, was a violation.

However a few other people posted links to complaints people had made about hot linking, saying it was "bandwidth slurping or stealing."

I can see both points, and so I'm not sure what the proper thing to do is. I'll say this:

  • If there's a copyright notice, like on a photo or cartoon, don't use the image.
  • If someone complains, take down the image or link.
  • If it's a large site, like Amazon, use a link, but give credit to them. Amazon actually allows you to save their images off to your server.
  • If it's a small site, ask them.

That's probably the best solution. I think that I'll give credit on future photographs that I use in my writings and copy them to my server.

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Wesley Brown on 19 October 2009

I use wiki commons for the images in my blog unless I have clear permission to link or copy the image.

Posted by Steve Jones on 19 October 2009

Since I wrote this, I've started to save the image, but include the original link in the ALT tag, or link to the original page.

I've had a few companies say they are fine with me using the image if I link back to them.

Posted by Hugo Shebbeare on 19 October 2009

Using facebook's images with absolute references for photos I put up in my own profile seem to work quite well, or images from hotmail/live's photo albums too.  Pratically everyone can upload to their own albums (so many sites that provide this service) and with digital cameras everywhere there's really not much excuse for depending on other's material.

As you mentioned at the end, clearly if it's someone else's image, you must give credit - thank for bring this up.

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