DEAR BLOGGERS... HOW I ALMOST GOT SUED [PHOTO CREDITING & BLOGGING]

Dear Nigerian bloggers, there’s something you need to be aware of: posting pictures on your blog without crediting the source or getting consent is equal to stealing which can land you in hot pepper soup. You think you can’t get in trouble for that? How will they find out? Who will prosecute you? Just hear me out please. I almost got sued.


A few weeks ago I innocently uploaded a post and I love my posts to go with a great photo so I did what most bloggers would do, Google a picture that gives meaning to my content and I found the perfect one, a floating picture on the web! I quickly uploaded and published the post! Few hours later I got contacted by the owner asking where I got the photo from, “I’m like kilode?” I got it from Google. I got to learn that the person who contacted me was a model and before I knew it her agency contacted me to ask where I got the picture from, again I said Google O_O

I quickly removed the photo from my blog and In that time I started panicking because I’m like, warrrisalldis? Can’t I just Google search a photo and use it ni? I started doing my research online and was gobsmacked to learn that I had to get permission to use even a random picture on Google. .. I didn't know about that. I’m just a blogger trying to create content. At least I didn't know and if I got sued I was going to stick to “I didn't know”, but according to law, Ignorance is not an excuse, that’s what my lawyer friend told me and that’s when I started crying big tears. The agency and the model were so kind to let me go without taking it to the next level and I was issued a warning. What if I was sued? They had the right. If anyone sues me where will I get money to pay? Ah! Gbese!

This brings me to what happened yesterday on twitter: @elnathan took some pictures in Abuja and some bloggers used it on their blogs without reference or permission and some people didn't think it was wrong. IT IS WRONG. Imagine someone passing off your work as theirs…Nigerian bloggers we need to become aware of the legal realities of blogging. We need to do better. Be professional about blogging. If you're a blogger, you need to take time off to learn about copyright laws. 

Apart from being sued, do you know that photography is a source of livelihood for some people? When you don’t pay for their pictures or get their permission to use their images you are ruining their business. It’s not fair. I am still learning and I want us all to be aware of this. Ignorance is not bliss.

This is just an introductory post for this topic. Watch out for part 2. 

But First of all:

- Avoid taking photos from random Google search

- If you need to use any photo, get permission from the owner

- If you can’t determine who the owner is then don’t use it

- If you got it off another blog it is possible they are not aware of copyright issues

- Even if you have a disclaimer on the photo, don't use it

- Take your own photos.

32 comments

  1. i totally get what you are saying, i have experienced it with a content too on my blog precioustouchmakeovers.blogspot.com i used a random make up picture and i got a mail that threatened me to remove or else....
    it is good we are aware of these blogging guidelines

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  2. So True, one has to be careful (I've Learnt)


    www.infashionrehab.com

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  3. True. i totally agree. An acknowledgement won't hurt anyone.

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  4. This is very helpful o. I have been using photos from google.

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  5. Lol...so true
    Pls visit; www.kaylacahanai.blogspot.com

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  6. Noted..thanks for sharing this knowledge/information.Glad you were not sued

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  7. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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  8. Good thing you were not sued. This is very enlightening. Thanks for sharing

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  9. That is some scary something. Thank you for sharing. Can I share this on my blog Sisi?

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  10. I better start taking my pictures…Thanks..www.bride2mum.com

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  11. Great post Sisi Yemmie. Good to know that you weren't sued. Bloggers can still use Google images if the search is filtered by image rights. Some images allows for non-commercial reuse.

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  12. Lol. Thank you o. Its better to learn from others experience than to have your own
    www.lapesbeautifulcreature.blogspot.com/

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  13. If you credit the sources of the pictures, you can still use them, unless it is implicitly stated that you must not use it with or without credit. Before they sue, they must first inform you to take the picture down, and your refusal will cause them to sue or report to google, who would take a DMCA against you.

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  14. And this is why we take all our own photos for our blog/instagram. There have been a small number of exceptions where we used other photos but if anything, I will only link to a relevant photo.

    Sites like morguefiles and so on exist from where you can get photos that are no longer under copyright so once in a while I will use that.

    I remember ages ago on facebook when I had a photo of a friend that I took (logo and all o) only to see it in someone else's gallery sans logo, a friend of my friend. When I asked where she got it from, she actually got aggressive and started on some nonsense. But dude, you nicked my photo! So ridiculous!

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  15. awesome article,thanks for the awareness..www.molokwupeter.blogspot.com

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  16. Plenty of copyright free photos online that you do not need permission for and no one will sue you. You just have to type copyright free image next to the item you are searching for in the search box and they will come up. Also Getty images has plenty and i mean plenty of images at your disposal and most of them only require you to credit the photographer whose details they provide with the photo and you are good to go.

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  17. Thanks for sharing this important info.
    I ordinarily assumed that all pics in goggle were 'free'.
    I would take correction and stop uploading pics.
    Glad they did not take it further.

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  18. lol...the amount of companies using my images without my consent in Nigeria is alarming...sigh! God dey.

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  19. Na wa ooo... I'm guilty of this times 100. That means them for don sue me plenty oooo

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  20. I am an event blogger and most times, its difficult to get pictures that suit my content. I try to credit the photos i use in my blog. but its difficult to get my own pictures, that means gate crashing weddings, parties etc just to take pictures for my posts *whew* Thanks tho for the advice.

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  21. Legally speaking Elnathan only has a case if his photos had a watermark or copyright logo or his instagram has a disclaimer that all his photos can only be used with his permission because unless his instagram is private and has the mentioned information his photos are public property and anyone can use them as they wish. Morally though the said blogger should have credited where she got the photos from she doesn't need to if the photos did not have the information I just mentioned but it is the right thing to do. That being said even if a photo has a watermark you need to check the source if it is the photographer's website and he/she has no objection (disclaimer) to his photos being used then it is okay to use them with his watermark without checking with him/her first if they however require permission then the right thing to do is to email them and ask for said permission which is almost always granted for free and keep the email as a proof of permission. Sisi Yemmie I do not see any disclaimer on use of your photos on this blog I think you should add your preference as in whether it is okay to use them without permission, or if you need them to be linked back to this blog, or if you require permission before they can be used by other people

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  22. Thanks for this post. Very kind of you to share.

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  23. You and all these close shaves. Glad you got off easy.

    Funny; I was thinking about your last point before it came up. Taking my own pictures is what I've now resolved to doing. Hard work, but it adds to the overall experience.

    Of course, I now need to run back and credit all the ones I 'borrowed' before.


    !.!.!

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  24. Thank God you weren't sued.. And good thing I always make reference to my source both posts and photos with links http://celebsnest.blogspot.com

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  25. Its a good thing u didn't get sued, this is a great post, it should sound as a wakeup call, let's keep educating ourselves.Tnks

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  26. Yes Yemmie, some Nign bloggers are worst than Boko Haram! Unrepentant cheats they are. On the issue of Google items in the public domain, nobody can sue you on that! You are protected once the item is in the public domain but you must acknowledge your source. Tagged pictures should be avoided but a clean posted item in the public domain is minced meat for all. If you do not want your item shared, tagged it as such and keep it private.

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  27. hey sisi i know this may sound silly as u repeatedly insisted on putting your own pictures on ur site but what happens when u cant take the pic urself
    say for instance im in america and am trying to share news about genevieve nnanji would it be wrong to google her name and use a pic from there ? i truly need your reply as soon as possible because i just recently started blogging and all the photos on my page are not mine i want to make sure i dont have to start all over again please help!!

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Your comments are like delicious grains of jollof rice to me: please feed me! Send me love mail sisi@sisiyemmie.com / Official business@sisiyemmie.com

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