How NOT to steal pictures...

Education & Training with Tech and Social Media Consultant

File this under Public Service Announcement.

Since nearly every cell phone has a camera, and since advanced editing tools are available for free, it makes no sense to steal a picture from the internet.

I know it’s easy to do.  Just do a Google image search and you’ll find exactly what you need, right?

Once you find the image you can just insert the image via the URL that way you don’t have to worry about uploading it to a server.

That is unless the image was originally put up by someone who had a Google alert for anything linking back to their site.  That would be a bad thing.

Why you ask?

We’ll let’s just say you have a sweet little blog called Faye’s Blog.

You did just that and found the perfect picture and stuck it in your post like this:

It looks nice.  Good job!  

There's one problem though.

The owner of the image (the same one who carefully hand crafted the image Credit Crunch) happens to have a Google Alert set to look for anything that links back to his site.

Within minutes of your post, Google sent that same owner an alert pointing him to your post.

The owner could then substitute yet another image into his server files replacing the original image with something less appealing than what you might have first found.

You can guess this might not be such a good thing.  You see by the owner replacing that image with anything he wants, the new image now instantly shows up in your post!

Oh - Oh!  This isn’t going to look good to Faye’s readers…

Faye’s Bio says…

I’m currently at the University of Aberden doing an MLitt in English Literary Studies.

Good for you Faye. 

Next post I'll show you how to find and properly use pictures you find on the internet.

Are you following me on Twitter?


Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Mike Jaquish 10/13/2008 11:55 AM
  2. Chris Brown- Florida Home Loan Specialist | Certified Mortgage Planner 10/13/2008 01:04 PM
  3. Mott Marvin Kornicki 10/14/2008 02:44 AM
  4. Theodora Wu 09/30/2009 04:46 PM
  5. GARY DIGIORGIO -Denver- Arvada -Westminster 01/10/2010 09:32 AM
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Steven L. Smith
King of the House Home Inspection, Inc. - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham WA Home Inspector

Good blog. I find it interesting. It can be quite a job finding photos that make a point. As an inspector I use my own photos mainly.

Oct 14, 2008 05:27 AM #57
Bill Gillhespy
16 Sunview Blvd - Fort Myers Beach, FL
Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos

Hi Mike,  Excellent post and graphics !  I'm always worried that I will run afoul of the rules on images.  Always read the posts concerning this issue.

Oct 14, 2008 06:07 AM #58
Everard Korthals
---Preferred Lifestyle Advisors--- - Lancaster, PA
Mountain Realty

For those looking to use legal pictures, refer back to our top 100 photo sites list.

Great list and agreed. don't use google, flickr, etc.

Oct 14, 2008 06:09 AM #59
Richard Sweum
1st Security Bank - Everett, WA

I almost barfed when I saw the lower photo...thanks for making me ill!

Oct 14, 2008 06:18 AM #60
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Mike,

Considering the evangelical leanings of Fay, the irony is even more poignant.


Oct 14, 2008 08:53 AM #61
Brenda Harmon
Century 21 Beal, Inc College Station, Texas - College Station, TX

Thanks Mike,

It makes us all conscious of what we do.


Please post a blog about your maps and the man.  It would make interesting reading.

Oct 14, 2008 11:28 AM #62
Lisa Hill
Florida Property Experts - Daytona Beach, FL
Daytona Beach Real Estate

You know, most people don't know that using photos they find on the internet, is a copyright violation.  I've posted videos about it on You Tube, since I didn't know about it when I first started blogging. To this day, my subscribers will still argue with me.

Oct 14, 2008 03:15 PM #63
Derenda Grubb
CENTURY 21 Mike D. Bono & Co.'s - Lake Charles, LA

Hi Mike,

Thank you for the "Heads Up", on this topic.  We can never be too careful.  You never know when someone will suddenly decide one time to use their photo or whatever is one time too often.

Oct 14, 2008 04:49 PM #64
Richard T. Dolbeare
eXp Realty - Kahului, HI
R(B), ABR, CRS...Hawaii Multi-Island Specialist

Not good but it's funny.

Oct 14, 2008 06:00 PM #65
David Gibbons - Seattle, WA

LOL - coffee spit on screen - that's not very christian of you, Faye! So funny that the image is still there. Faye needs google analytics.

Oct 15, 2008 03:00 AM #66
DeAndrea "Dee Dee" Jones
Home Buyers Marketing II, Inc. - Manassas Park, VA
The NorthernVARealEstateLady & DMVRealEstateChick

Great info we often do not think of copyrights on photos.

Oct 16, 2008 07:42 AM #67
Patricia Beck
RE/MAX Properties, Inc., GRI, CDPE - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Realty

What a picture, lol.  I think that taught her a lesson.

Oct 16, 2008 09:17 AM #68

Faye is lucky you used that pic and not something pornographic. You were more than kind to her.

I find that making my own images is half of the fun of blogging and there is plenty of free vectors and dingbat fonts one can use as a starting point.

And if you are truly untalented, there are image generator sites you can use.

There is no excuse for stuff like that...and even less for hotlinking & stealing the bandwidth, too.

Oct 16, 2008 02:24 PM #69
Ronelle Schroeder-Hill
Vacaville, CA

Uh o. I'm so guilty but I do add a credit next to the picture :]  I'll be looking forward to your next post...

Oct 16, 2008 05:48 PM #70

That's great info.  I knew that these things can be traced but I was not sure how.  I usually try to use my own pictues but I have been guilty of taking them off the internet from various places.  Thanks for the info, Mary

Oct 17, 2008 06:34 AM #71
Robert May
Robert W May - Lethbridge Real Estate - Lethbridge, AB
Real estate consulting

i always redirect any unwanted views of my webpages/images/etc at far less tasteful content, it is always worth a laugh.

Dec 02, 2008 07:05 PM #72
Christine McInerney
Great Life RE - Knoxville, TN
The McInerney Team, Knoxville TN Homes For Sale

Wow, so I guess not only Big Brother is wathing, but also Faye as well!

Mar 04, 2009 12:21 PM #73
Sharon Paxson
Compass - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate

Mike - this is an excellent post, and thanks for the info. I appreciate it.

Jul 23, 2009 05:44 AM #74
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

Thanks Mike, sometimes I do need a picture.  Most times I just try to take my own and then if all else fails, I put in a website that shows the pics.

Dec 11, 2009 02:55 PM #75
Adam Kutchuk Murrieta
Realty Works - Murrieta, CA
Short Sale Specialist Rated 5 Stars

The funniest thing that I have seen so far today :) good to know!

Apr 21, 2010 11:28 AM #76
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