Previously on All You Need to Know About Creative Commons, I talked about different creative licenses under Creative Commons (CC). It is really important to check the license and usage details of a creative piece before you use it. Plus, it’s considered common courtesy to give credit to the original owner, that’s why you should know how to give credit in the right way.
If you do not know how to give proper credit when you use creative works, you’re actually breaking the law. When you do break the law, you will face serious consequences, and that is something you should avoid at all costs. Now, I will share to you how you can give proper credit when you use other people’s creative works.
When you give credit where credit is due, you are actually building trust with your audience. Don’t worry about driving your visitors elsewhere because there is only a slight possibility that this could happen. Rather, focus on the fact that your SEO can actually benefit from inserting outbound links to high-quality sources.
How to Give Proper Credit
- Make sure you have permission to use the creative piece. If that creative work doesn’t have any Creative Commons license, you should email the owner to see if you can use their image. For example, if you use an image on your blog post, write the owner’s name and link underneath the photo. If, by any chance, the owner does not have a personal website, provide the link to the website where you got the photo instead.
Here is a sample format on how you can properly give credits: “Photo by [artist name with the link to their website]” or “Image by [artist name] via [link to the website where you sourced the photo].”
- If the photo you used was found on Pinterest or Google Images, it’s not enough to simply cite Google or Pinterest as the source. This is because Pinterest and Google are just search engines. They are not the original source and oftentimes, they do not link back to the original creator.
If the owner’s details can’t be seen, the best thing you can do is to do a reverse image search. This can help you find the original image and then acquire permission from there. However, if you’re still unable to find the original source, it’s best to look for another image to use.
- If you’re reposting a creative work on social media, always make sure that you tag the owner. For example, if you want to repost a creative work on Facebook, you can just simply share the original post onto your Facebook page, and all of the owner’s info will automatically be there, assuming that the poster is the original owner.
What Happens if You Don’t Give Credits?
When you don’t give credit where it’s due, you can be sued by the owner for copyright infringement. Those who are found guilty may have to pay thousands of dollars. Moreover, this will also be a huge blow if you’re still a starting business. That is why it’s better to use royalty-free images to avoid any legal consequences. Learn more about royalty-free images HERE. On the next topic, I will talk about in detail the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).