Photo credits - how to do it properly
I HAVE RECENTLY read a couple of posts on PersonaPaper which seem to indicate a certain amount of confusion about how to credit photos or other artwork we use in our posts (or anywhere else for that matter). This post won't cover where to get suitable images but will detail how - and why - we must credit photos wherever we use them.
Firstly, our own photos (or artwork we create ourselves). Strictly speaking you don't need to credit your own work. Copyright rules state that as soon as a work is created copyright springs into existence and you then own the copyright to your own work. However, it will do no harm to state that you own the copyright to a particular work and indeed PersonaPaper ask that you provide an accreditation for your own work - it makes it clear that you do own the rights to an image.
A simple statement along the lines of 'copyright of the author' will do just fine. You could insert your name instead of 'author' but, interestingly, you don't have to use your real name - your online ID is perfectly acceptable. This is one reason I use the same ID everywhere I go online - changing your username frequently just complicates things.
Secondly, photos we find on one of the many free-to-use sites on the web. By 'free-to-use' I mean those sites which don't charge a fee to use their images, not 'free-to-use' as in not asking permission! There are hundreds of them so finding a suitable image for any purpose is merely a matter of knowing where to look. All of these sites have one thing in common - their images are subject to one of the many copyright licences currently in use.
No matter where you find an image the main factor you need to know before you use it is: Does the licence for that image allow its use for the purpose you have in mind? PersonaPaper is a commercial blogging site (you get paid) so any image must have a licence which allows its use on such a site. Check the site rules - the licence should be detailed somewhere in there.
Assuming all is well you can then go ahead and upload the image to your post. Now here comes the part most people get confused about: ACCREDITATION! The single most important point is that you should provide a link back to the source (the actual page, not just the site) where you found the image. This makes it easy for anyone (PersonaPaper admin for example) to check that the image is a valid one and that you have the right to use it.
Ideally, in the credit you should also state the author of the image, the site where you found it and the licence which applies. If you alter the image (crop it for example) this should also be stated. But if you take a look at the image credit for this post you will see that it does it slightly differently and this is because Persona Paper has an Image Wizard which uses images from Pixabay and automatically places the URL of the image into the image credit box on a published post. For a guide on how to use Persona Paper's Image Wizard go HERE
The URL is the link back to the source of the image and if you follow it you will be taken to the Pixabay page for that image where you will find all the relevant information.
If the work has a title (many do as part of the URL) then that should be included in the credit but I wouldn't lose any sleep if you happen to forget because the link will take investigators to the file page and the title will be there.
Now you know how to properly credit images on PersonaPaper (and anywhere else) so there is no excuse for not doing it! This post isn't the final word on image accreditation but all the relevant points are here - author, site, licence, title, any alterations, link to source - and if you follow this method you won't go far wrong. By the way, once your post has been published don't forget to check that the link back to the source works!
GOLDEN RULES: Many people still think it is OK to use any image they have found online somewhere but it isn't - not even if you credit it. When considering an image for inclusion in your posts (if it isn't a Pixabay image chosen through the Image Wizard) this is the information you need:
1) The name of the originator or photographer (often referred to as the author), the title of the work (if it has one); and the licence information;
2) When you write your post you must credit the author, the title and the site where you found the photo; and state the license which applies and if the image has been altered in any way (cropped for example);
3) You should provide a link back to the source of the image (the page, not just the site).
If for any reason you cannot satisfy these conditions then you should not use that image and don't forget that Persona Paper REQUIRES you to provide a credit for any image you use. If you fail to credit images properly on Persona Paper then you run the risk of not being paid - so get it right!
So how important is proper accreditation of images? VERY IMPORTANT! Get it wrong or use an image you have no right to use and you could find yourself in big trouble. Don't believe me? Then scare yourself by reading THIS ARTICLE and THIS ONE - and take the time to read the comments on both of them.
There is also the moral aspect of using free photos. Many photographers and graphic artists will release their work onto the web for you to freely use. They deserve to be recognised for their good work and all images should be credited even if is not required by the site you found it on (Pixabay doesn't require it but you still should, no matter where you use their images). You should also bear in mind that PersonaPaper won't pay you if they can't verify the proper use of images on your posts - that alone is a reason for doing it properly!
THIS SITE which details how Creative Commons suggest photocredits should be done is well worth reading.
Ok - I'll give you a couple of hints about finding free photos! MORGUEFILE and PIXABAY are two excellent sources of free to use photos and other images and Wikipedia has a list of (mainly) Public Domain PHOTOSITES - you're bound to find a suitable image in there somewhere!
You might want to read the companion post to this one on COPYRIGHT ON THE WEB
And this one on how NOT to credit photos 101 WAYS OF GETTING IT WRONG
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License .
Image Credit » http://pixabay.com/en/copyright-copywrite-36078/ by Nemo