How can I avoid copyright infringement online?

If you’re a business owner, you probably rely on social media to stay connected with consumers. In this case, you may repost images or other materials you find online, whether they relate to some aspect of your company or are just intended to bring a smile to your followers. No matter the underlying reason, you could be accused of copyright infringement if the original creator of the content finds fault. Business News Daily recommends the following solutions in this case.

Attributing a source is not always enough

Many people believe that if they correctly attribute a source online, they’re free to use materials as they see fit. However, this isn’t always the case. Recent litigation has decided in favor of the creator even when images or text were properly sourced. While it seems like the right thing to do, attributing will only make litigation against you that much easier, as you’ve freely admitted to wrongdoing.

Asking permission is best

If you really want to use another person’s material, the best course of action is to ask permission first. While a verbal agreement may be acceptable in some cases, it’s also a good idea to get the agreement in writing as well. That way if the creator decides they are no longer OK with you using the image you’ll still have proof that they agreed initially.

Free materials are another option

Some materials are available to use absolutely free of charge, as they’re not copywritten. This is especially true when it comes to images, as there are numerous sites that offer free stock photos to businesses. You can also consider taking your own images and uploading them to social media or your website. In this case, be wary of others using your images illegally, as ownership is established as soon as you post them on your sites.

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