Imagine that you’re a food blogger, and you’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time perfecting a new recipe and then plating it, getting the light and background just right, and taking (and then editing) a ton of pictures to get the perfect one. You post it on your blog, proud of all the hard work and results. And then a few weeks or months later, you see another post on another site for a similar recipe…but they’re using your image.
This is, unfortunately, a lot more common than you’d think. It definitely happens with content, but it happens more often (and more shamelessly) with images. Because they’re so easy to access and share on their own sites, people don’t think twice about using them as their own, and normally this happens without any malignant intentions.
So what images can you use for commercial purposes? What images can bloggers utilize on their sites that they themselves haven’t taken? What counts as copyright infringement, and what can you do if someone takes your content? We’re going to look at all that and more in this post.