TO USE OR NOT TO USE?

Using images legally in Your EFT Business

This is the question that actually may have more impact on your business than you may realise. 

When it comes to using images within our websites, blogs and promotion, it can be so tempting when you find the right picture to copy, paste and use it. But, did you know that by doing so you could be in for a hefty fine and a whole lot of stress? 

The purpose of this article is not to alarm you, but to give you an overview of the legalities of sharing and using images for Your EFT Business and how to be able to joyfully and easily share and use images affordably and legally without repercussion. 

What is copyright and why is it important? 

We have all heard of copyright, but do we understand it and the implications it has for using images? 

A very basic way of explaining it is; If it isn’t yours then its someone else’s. Remember just because you cannot see the copyright symbol © it doesn’t mean you can use it, even if you do give the person credit.

Like plagiarism laws there are laws that cover images & videos. Copyright is there to protect the creator from people using their ideas and creations and then taking the credit for it. The good news is that it applies to your work too. So, if you create material, social media images, photographs etc, copyright helps protect your ownership. 

The Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (DMCA) enables people to personally get in touch with you if they believe you have infringed their copyright and request the instant removal of the photo, graphic or replicated information. However, they can also submit their complaint for a DMCA takedown request which means they can take down your whole website if you don’t comply and issue fines in excess of $25000! A personal friend of mine, who had an EFT website, had an instance of using a copyright image without permission. She received notice she was to be fined £10,000 and it took a lot of stress, compliance and tapping and the fine was eventually reduced to a manageable level with an instant takedown of the copyrighted image. 

It all seems a bit extreme for a photo or image, but many people are making their livelihoods producing these images and so protection is in place. 

So how can you use photos and images joyfully and easily without fear of doing something illegal? 

It’s actually soooooo easy peasy! 

If a particular photo, artwork or creation you have fallen head over heels for, you can approach the creator directly and ask for permission to share or use. 

Even more easily than that …. there are many stock photos and images online where you can download for free or buy for use for a nominal fee. Underneath is a small list of 3 websites which I have personally used where you can download stock photos for use. If you wish to have a good nosey or looking for something ‘different’ click here for a deeper in-depth list of paid and unpaid 

Pixabay 

MY experience varies of Pixabay. Some images are awesome and I have found some amazing weird and wonderful images I have used, but sometimes it just doesn’t have the range for what I would think would be easy to find photos / images. But, that said, I know a lot of people who use this site and love love love it. Its free to download the images but you do have to watch for the adverts for paid pictures at the top as it is really easy to click on them and have a shock when your sent somewhere else for a paid photo. This is annoying but I also understand they have to make money somehow so whilst its fabulous it’s not my ‘go-to’ site

Canva 

Whilst this isn’t a site for images, it is a great site that helps you create your own graphics through drag and drop. Canva has stock images within it and takes you through the copyright process easily. Canva is now my first ‘go-to’ and they have some awesome images which are also stocked by the big companies such as Shutterstock, Dreamstime etc. They have a good selection of free and their paid ones are only $1.00 or $10 for 11 images. 

Dreamstime 

A paid stock image company. You can pay as you go (I do) or you can subscribe to packages if you use a lot of images. If I am looking for something a little ‘different’ it has a great selection. You can also search for a general term such as ‘spiritual’, ‘energy connection’ and ‘blog’. My image for my book was brought from here as its licensing process was just so joyful and easy. Also, my whole library of purchases is there so I am backed up legally and in case I accidently delete or lose the image on my computer! 

Shutterstock 

Again, a paid site. I have limited experience on here, however it has an amazing library! If you find a photo or image on google images the chances are there will be something close if not the actual image available for sale in this site. I will always check this and then use the keywords that are used to describe it within Shutterstock to search other free stock image companies. 

What about sharing on social media? Where do we stand on that? 

It is basically same rules applied with a slight difference. Social media offers us platforms to share. I will use Facebook as an example here. 

If someone has the share button underneath it then they are giving you permission to share. If they do not have the share button underneath but its awesome and you want to share it, then ask them. 

If they have personally shared something (they have saved and copied the image rather than direct sharing) and that image has a pages name or logo on it, then you can share it, however I always like to go to the page directly and share from them. I think it’s a case of give credit where credits due. I always get a nosey at that page and it increases their presence if I am sharing. 

I give permission for everyone to share or use anything that I have created within Your EFT Business as long as the logo is kept in place. I am creating this work to share with the world but I also a product or information that may be useful to someone, so why take the opportunity for both that person and myself to benefit from the discovery of finding each other! 

Always remember to credit the person who shared or created the image and if you don’t know if its ok to share then simply ask. A quick comment …”can I share this please?”, not only covers you legally but can actually open the doors to new opportunity and possibility too. By asking this very simple safeguarding question I have had some great social media sharing relationships start. 

Summary … 

So, before you click, stop and think………. 

  • Do I have permission? 
  • Seek to gain permission if it’s not readily available 
  • Ask yourself “do I have proof that I have this image legally?”

Remember, thinking its ok to copy and paste and use photos direct from google could be causing you an unnecessary hassle down the road. 

This information is covered more personally in Module 10, lesson 3. If you are a member of the site, then check out that lesson (if you haven’t done so already).

If you would like more information on Your EFT Business and how our online academy can help you in creating the business of your dreams click here

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