If you have a blog or other sort of website, Facebook is an interesting place to search for photos for your page. Unfortunately, much like Google Images and other image resources, using Facebook photos for your personal gain could land you in some copyright hot water. Likewise, if you suddenly find your personally uploaded debauchery photos being used without your permission to promote a Spring Break Booze Cruise, you might have some legal rights yourself. Here are some things you should know about Facebook photos and copyright issues.
If you’re an amateur photographer or if you just want to get your film creations out to the masses, sites like Facebook and Instagram are perfect remedies. What you should know is that uploading your photos to these sites potentially enables them to be viewed (slash stolen) by literally tens of thousands of people.
What To Do To Protect Your Photos
Obviously, if you don’t want your ‘before’ joining Jenny Craig pictures to be laughed at by hundreds of people, simply don’t post them to the Internet. On the other hand if you do want to share your diet success with friends and family, make sure to change privacy settings in your Facebook profile. When you upload your photos, make sure to go into your account>photos and click on the photos you want to limit the views. You can then change the settings between sharing with the public, just friends, or viewed by only yourself.
Watermark Your Facebook Photo
A few of my friends have amateur photography companies in which they like to share their work with the public in the hopes of getting new business. Although Facebook has a stipulation that the company itself has certain ownership of all photos uploaded to their site, by using a watermark on your photographs everyone who views it will know you are the rightful creator. There are much stricter penalties for altering a photograph such as cropping out the watermark compared to simply sharing them among friends.
How To Use Photographs You’ve Found On Facebook
Sometimes you stumble across a picture on Facebook or Instagram that is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before and would serve as a great backdrop to your website or a nice introductory page to your blog. While the person who took or created the picture has copyrights, you might still be able to use the image for personal use.
The easiest thing to do is contact the owner and declare your intentions for the photograph. As long as you credit the creator and aren’t attempting to make a monetary gain the originator should grant you usage. If you do have a financial windfall planned for a particular photo, copyrights can be bought or transferred just make sure to cross all your t’s and dot all your lower case j’s with proper legal counsel.
Amateur photography can be a very rewarding hobby but instead of claiming others’ work as your own, take notes of what works for them and adapt it to your own interests and styles. You’ll find that developing your own voice is more satisfactory and once you become an expert, you’ll learn it’s much more fun doing the suing than being sued.