What Are The Copyright Rules On Images Found On The Internet?

Social media has made us all potential law breakers. According to a research, all of us have probably done the crime of stealing someone’s work through the internet let it be an image, a song or a blog post.

Of all the work created, mostly the copyrights of images are exploited. Images are easily found over the internet, but not all of them are free. In fact, every image has a copyright. Photographers and graphic designers earn money by selling their rights.

What are copyrights?

You do not have to read a book concerning the law to get some useful knowledge about copyrights. Understanding the basics is enough to protect oneself for facing being sued over unintended copyright infringement.

Copyrights are granted automatically to the photographer or a graphic designer or artist as soon as he or she creates the image. It means that if you capture a photo or create an image, you become the owner of its copyrights.

What do copyrights mean?

The person who owns the copyrights owns all the rights in reference to which the image could be used. For example, recently BBC used an image which was found on Twitter, but later the photographer who took the photo filed a case against BBC. The person who owns copyrights is affected by the use of his or her images without consultation.

Why should you care about copyrights?

According to the law, if you get caught using an image which is potentially under copyright protection then you could end up needing to pay a huge amount of $25,00, and this amount does not include your lawyer’s fee and the damage proposition to your company or budget as well.

Rights of the owner of copyrights

  • First of all, the owner can always reproduce the work for which he or she holds the copyright to
  • He or she has the sole right to disclose their work, in this case, image publicly, with or without their name
  • The person who owns the copyrights can prepare derivatives of their work
  • They can always distribute their work for sales, rentals or display

The fair use of copyrighted images, rules you should care about!

Now we do not want to consult every other photographer to use his or her image as doing s impossible. For this, the law has introduced a term which is known as the fair use of content in such cases related images.

Why are you using the image?

It is important to consider and pre-determine that why are you using the image. If you are using the image for criticism, commenting, teaching, scholarships, research or news reporting then, it comes under fair use, and you may use the image. So, the first rule is to define why you are using the content.

How much of the image do you plan to use?

If you are using just a part of the image, then it really does not matter, because you are probably not breaking the copyright law.

Is the image a transformative work?

If you have transformed the image and it no longer resembles the original image, then you are likely on the right track of using the image under fair use.