When using images, Copyright is just the tip of the Iceberg according to Lisa Howard, known as lisadh on Squidoo. Citing Fair Use to justify using what are copyright images, that have not been made available to freely use, is a topic that has given rise to some pretty strong statements and debates in various Squidoo Networking Groups.
One of the biggest problems with Fair Use is that at the end of a day, only a Judge in a Law Court can confirm whether Fair Use applies in each case but most of us will not want to wait until we are sued to find out whether we have broken Fair Use laws or not.
Recently, via Facebook, I have been having a very good-natured private discussion with Lisa because there’s been some instances where we have contributed to discussions about Copyright, but have been coming at it from very different viewpoints.
Although we do not always agree, Lisa and I have a great respect and liking for each other, so I asked her if she would help me get my head around this “Fair Use business” by writing an article for Writing Online, which Lisa duly agreed to do.
One of the problems that a lot of new people face when they first publish on Squidoo is coming to grips with the fact that just because an image has been published in a very public platform (the Internet) does not necessarily mean it is their’s to copy and use on their own websites. I have written much on Copyright Infringements and How to Credit an Image, so I won’t repeat it here but Fair Use is something I have tended to steer clear of because I do not know enough about it.
My own view is that Fair Use is too much of a minefield to want to even go there, especially as I have never had a problem finding images that are free AND legal to use.
However, for those people who DO want to know more about Fair Use and how you may be able to apply it to images you want to use on your Squidoo Lenses and elsewhere, then I can thoroughly recommend Lisa’s article: Copyright is Just the Tip of the Iceberg: What About Fair Use?
Image Credit: Image found on wikipedia and has been released into the Public Domain