Blog Photos: How to use images from the Internet and not get sued

Real Estate Broker/Owner with CELLing Realty CalBRE #01445865

The other day I had an idea, and decided to open a Group where we could share some pictures with each other, and not have to worry about all the Copyright stuff. The Flickr Group is  called:  Foto Share Shop for Bloggers .  Any Active Rain Member, or other Blogger is welcome to join, and use the Photos in the Group for your Blogs. 

Flickr Group Collage of Shared Photos



Each of these Photos, and more, are available for you to use if you are a Blogger.  They are available for WEB use, but the person who took the photo did not give permission to use it for Print Materials like Newsletters, Brochures, Fliers, or Postcards, etc. 

You can use any of the Photos for your blogs as long as you give the Photographer credit for the Photo. 

The Photos in this Collage are from left to right:

Orange Flower-Kathy McGraw

Custom Doorway-Ioana Negrau

Snail-Ioana Negrau

Fruit- Tami Vroma

Another contributor to date is Nannette Saunders.  I really love one of her photos and was going to use it here, but it was sized wrong.  It was about the size of a small postage stamp-not big enough for any real blogging use. 





So, that taught me something-tell people the size needed :) My suggestion is to upload nothing larger or smaller than an 800x600 size which is Medium.  This makes a nice picture for web use, but not for print. And we're using a Creative Commons License so anyone can take your pic and change it, add a frame, etc. as long as they give you credit for the Original, and don't change the License (CC copyright).

Flickr Group Screen Shot

















Save this URL and it should take you directly to the Group. Any Active Rain, or other Blogger is welcome to join.  The rules are pretty simple: 

  • Only your own Photos can be uploaded,
  • You have to agree to use a CC License, not a regular Copyright
  • You have to allow Commercial Use.   
  • No Adult Themed Photos of Activities, Toys, ect.  This is a PG-13 Group
  • CC License Agreement is to allow anyone to use your Photo with Attribution (lic #3 as of this date)


Wooden Bridge


We will be using the Creative Commons License because it's easier for everyone who truly wants to share their photos. 

You will get your name (attribution) on others Posts for the benefit of being allowed to use your photo. 

The benefit is we can use any of the Photos in the Group, and can modify them if we want, and we know that if they are in there we can use them for Commercial Purposes-Our Blog :) 

This picture By Nannette Saunders I modified by adding a little more contrast and putting a border around it.  I also put her name on it....

The Creative Commons License allows you to do this.  You can modify any of the pictures, but you have to use the same License as the Original.   



Upload only your own work and use whatever you need. Having just finished Brads Talk Radio Show with Lenn Harley and her Copyright Attorney Paul Thaler this information is actually up to the minute.  I would really like to thank  Lenn, Paul, Brad, and Rich for the information, and the time they took to help us all.

*** One of the things that is really pertinent to this Post is something Rich said about images.  He stated that many people are going out and taking photos, and embedding a code (watermark?) in them for tracking purposes, then registering them.  Once you take that image and use it they then come after you for damages. That's nothing really new, what is new is some people are apparently doing this "deliberately".  Deliberately enticing people to use the photos, then coming after you for damages.  As Rich said, The new "Cash Cow" of the Internet. Now that's some scary stuff......And we just wanted a picture :)


Another very important thing I came away from the Broadcast with is this:  Our Active Rain and Outside Real Estate Blogs are Commercial and they're Copyrighted!   

Copyright Laws and You - Here's All You'll EVER Need To Know  Brad's Post about the Broadcast- a must read!

copyright Kathy McGraw

CC License

Q-How does this effect you?

A- Sometimes we think we got all the permission we needed for a Photo, only to find out somewhere in the fine print was a prohibition for commercial use.  All the Photos that are put into our Group have to allow Commercial Use.  therefore they can be used on your blog :)

Q- I want to use one of the photos so what do I do.....

A- Join the Group.  Flickr has rules of how to link to the photo-you can read them there.  Just to save your butt...and to do it the right way. 

Q- Is the Creative Commons Copyright the same as Lenn's Copyrighted Maps?

A- No. You cannot use Lenn's Maps....they have a regular Copyright.  Our Photos have a Creative Commons one...which is a newer, more user friendly version for sharing on the Internet.  There are different kinds, and for this you have to be careful in other Groups, and sites.


If you want to know more about Copyright Violations go read any of Lenn Harley's Posts.  I am sure Brad will have a Post up today on the Broadcast.....but this Post was specific to the Creative Commons.  I found a few old Posts that I think you might find useful when dealing with Photos. And keep in mind: You can always write the Person that took the Photo for Permission to use it, just get it in Writing :)  This applies to any copyrighted material- get it in writing.



 Here are a few great Blog Posts from my Bookmarked File to help you with Photos:


Free Photos At The Flickr Of A Mouse  by Jeff Turner aka RESPRES(really talks about the Creative Commons on Flickr-and how to find other Pictures)

For The Love Of Creative Commons  by Jeff Turner....(one benefit of this new Group is we are allowing Commercial use  on the web and modification)

How to Add Pictures in Your Blog  by Kristal Kraft (Excellent Tutorial)


How do I change my font size and color in my blogs?  by Larry DeGroat (not for our Group, but some people can find this useful anyway)  A FREE site (can upgrade) for Photo Finishing-and you can configure it to upload your pictures to Your Flickr Account/Group. You can also re-size your photos here.





Disclaimer:This Group is NOT for you if you worry about who is using your photo. We are a Group of Bloggers that just want to have a means to get a picture we might not have. Who knows it just might give you another avenue of name recognition.  Also, this Group is a PG-13 Rated Group, or an R minus :).....only pictures that are appropriate for the "majority" of bloggers are allowed.  I am not an Attorney, and am not giving legal copyright advice...everyone is to read the info on the CC License Page themselves.

*** Reminder: You must manually change the copyright notification to the one listed above:  CC By.  If you desire a picture that someone forgot to change the CC License then put a notification (nicely please in the Group).  Remember the whole idea is to feel safe, use a pic. if we need, and getting credit is a plus.  If you join Group you are giving notification that you are willing to share with ANY Web media that is not Adult themed.


**** Important Thought- I noticed some people have a Flick Account with a name like sassypants (just an example).  Without your real name being on your picture you will get credit as Sassypants :)  Something to think about.  Is it possible to open 2 Flickr Accts???

Also-remember if you have certain pictures that you DON"T want to share, or you absolutely want to control how they're used, Don't put them in the Group, and don't put a CC License on them.I'm excited on how many people are sharing :)




Photography can add so much to our message, 

as long as we don't have to worry about being sued.






 By: Kathy McGraw- CELLing Realty in Riverside County


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
ActiveRain Community
Active Rain Newbies
The Art Of Marketing You
e-PRO Internet Technology
POSITIVE ATTITUDE for the Weary Soul
foto share shop for bloggers

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Kathy ~ I am in as well...I love what can be done with the the example you provided in this post. Very Kewl!!

Nov 14, 2008 05:03 AM #65
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Kathy, Wow, I am crowning you the QUEEN of Creative Commons today! That is an incredible idea. NOW, I have so many different user names because we have cabin rentals and I do Staging, ugh.. God bless you !! I can't wait to load up some photos and check out the others..

Nov 14, 2008 05:37 AM #66
No Longer Active in Staging. No Longer Staging
Hickory, NC

Hey Kathy, I just joined and my user name "HeavenlyCabins" for now because that happens to be my current Flickr account. Thanks again and God bless,

Nov 14, 2008 05:41 AM #67
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy thank you for providing this resource and giving us tips on how to use it.  I am sure that ActiveRain members will visit this site regularly.

Nov 14, 2008 11:34 AM #68
Kat DeLong
LakeView Realty Enterprises, Inc - Lake Arrowhead, CA
Realtor DRE#01235311, Lake Arrowhead Real Estate (

Kathy: so much wonderful, helpful info that I had to bookmark it, so I can come back and check it ALL out.


Nov 14, 2008 11:53 AM #69
Linda Scanlan
A Consumer's View - Burleson, TX

Kathy - what an awesome group! Now...I just need to learn how to take photographs! When I take one from my car I always get a picture of me taking a picture! LOL...there must be a trick to it somehow! I think I'll join your group and get some pointers!

Nov 14, 2008 12:50 PM #70
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Don- thanks...

Yvette-  Well now I might have started it with an idea, but it's really everyone that joined and contributed that deserves the thanks .....I will take the sentiment to have a good week-end though and thanks :)

Terrie- Have fun, and come back and let me know what you make with any of the pictures :)

Cheryl- Heavenly Cabins it is....hopefully if you join any discussion you also put your name....I'd hate to call you Cabin LOL :)  I loved your comments...they had energy in them....have a good day.

George- Thanks my friend, and I do hope that people that need or want use it.

Kat- Hi there...I love Bookmarking, it's kind of like a library....we get to go back and read when we want :)

Linda-that's funny....but hey maybe someone needs a photo of someone taking a photo LOL :)  You're cute!

Nov 14, 2008 02:52 PM #71
Robin Willis
Tucson Expert Agents LLC - Tucson, AZ
CDPE, SRES, Designated Broker

Kathy,  Great work.  I will be joining the group.

Nov 14, 2008 03:09 PM #72
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Thank you for sharing valuable information. 

Nov 14, 2008 03:49 PM #73
Nannette Turner
Keller Williams Lynchburg - Lynchburg, VA
Online Marketing Home Ownership Advocate Specialis

Kathy the group is an awesome idea and I love the tutorial!  I am excited about the new photos on the group and when I have new ones worthy I will add.

Ok now I have to get that tutorial up for the linked in widget you wanted. :-)

Nov 14, 2008 09:25 PM #74
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Robin & Sharon :)

Nannette- My widget....oh yea...and the Twitter one too please :)

Nov 15, 2008 01:59 AM #75
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Kathy - that was great and so informative. I've been carrying my camera with me every where I go so that I can start my own collection of photos! You have several links that I need to go check out. VERY good info! Thank you.

Nov 15, 2008 03:57 AM #76
Michael Sahlman - Keller Williams Realty - Miami Beach, FL
e-PRO - Miami Beach Florida Luxury Homes

Thanks for this great post. It is very helpful and useful info. Will be joining your AR group. Now I might have to join Flickr too.

Nov 16, 2008 12:16 AM #77
Grace Keng
Keller Williams Realty Cupertino - Cupertino, CA
CRS, CDPE (408) 799-8887

Thanks! It is a great article.

Nov 16, 2008 09:54 AM #78
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Connie-You're welcome, and getting your own stock library is very helpful for almost all your RE Marketing, including blogging.

Michael-I hope it all works out for you...I am using my first picture from the Group tomorrow, as I do not have a picture of an Eagle available :)

Grace- You're Welcome.

Nov 23, 2008 05:43 AM #79
Bob Cumiskey
A1 Connection Realty, Inc. - Sun City Center, FL
US Army Retired, Your Sun City Center, Florida ~ Realtor

Kathy, I love this idea.  I have joined the group, and will be adding photos soon. 

Dec 08, 2008 12:54 AM #80
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Bob- Sounds good, and don't forget to read the Discussion as it tells you to make sure you change the permission to a CC License.  We are allowing anyone to use the pictures with a link back, and attribution for the Original Photographer.

Dec 08, 2008 08:28 AM #81
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Great post...and good information, thanks for sharing. 

Oct 21, 2009 07:42 PM #82
Dan Quinn
The Eric Steart Group of Long & Foster Real Estate - Silver Spring, MD
Dan Quinn

I am so thrilled I found this post about photos and copyrighted material.  This is what I have been searching for; you have helped me tremendously.

Thanks a zillion Kathy!

Oct 22, 2009 10:04 AM #83

Well said! That certainly proved Canada's stupid foreign policy and the minister shut his wide mouth after hearing all other countries attending the CHOGM. Canada is promoting terrorism to be a close ally to US. This is very wrong and they just want to grab the Tamil votes which are mostly Liberal.

Jun 28, 2013 09:28 AM #84
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Kathy McGraw

Riverside County CA Real Estate
Ask me a question
Spam prevention

Additional Information