how to properly use copyrighted material

How to use copyrighted material in your Jamberry marketing and keep it compliant - idkblog.com

In the previous post I talked about Jamberry compliance and briefly touched the subject of using someone else’s work. Let’s focus on the big one: Your marketing “Cannot contain images created by people other than you unless you have a license to use the image.” We’ve all done it; you’re in the middle of a party and a subject comes up that you need a graphic for. You go to the interweb and find the first good image you come across and get to work creating a new graphic. Really, this is a no-no. Yeah, you may have gotten lucky and grabbed an image that is free to use but it is up to you to stop and make sure it is so. How do you know if an image is ok to use? You need to read the creators terms of use or licensing agreement and if you haven’t ever done this you are probably at a loss as to where to start.  Lets just do an example, shall we?

Google is a great image source! Yes, this is obvious but there are some steps to using it correctly. Here’s how:

  • Type your google search and hit enter. For this example I did a search for “daisy chain.”Google search showing search filled in with the words "daisy chain" and the search tools button highlighted below it
  • Click on Images
  • Next click on Search Tools
  • Then click on “Labeled for Reuse” Here you can choose what restrictions you are willing to search under.
  • Google images "labeled for reuse" optionsThe images that come up after you choose a reuse filter should be free to use. However, that does not mean that they are! How do we find out for sure? Click on the image.
  • Then click on Visit Page. This will take you to the page that this particular image is posted to. Note: this image could be posted all over the internet and the page you are about to visit may or may not be the original source of the image which is what we are on the hunt for.Looking for the original image source in order to discover image licensing.
  • Here we can see that the image comes from a free media site. Hold on, we aren’t done yet.
  • Down at the bottom it is noted as the “Original file” and if you scroll down you will see the creator along with their granted permissions. Image showing the original creator released the image to the public domain and "grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose..."
  • The Permissions for this image say “Busterd grants anyone the right to use this work for any purpose, without any conditions, unless such conditions are required by law.”  BINGO! In clear plain English we have permission to use the image all we want.

The majority of free images require an attribution in order to uphold your end of the license agreement so I guess we need to talk about what that is. Attribution is when you clearly mark an image as not belonging to you, provide a link back to the source, and typically provide the source name.

Posting an image to Facebook while providing attribution is a little tricky since you would need to work in the attribution, either in the image or in the comments and, really, posting a link back in comments will just confuse your customer. If you are wanting to use an image that requires attribution I can’t see this working out in a FB party and I would avoid using this type of image. An alternative route is to contact the creator and ask for their permission. If I were going to go through that trouble I would first make sure it is a source that I would be using all the time. Do they have a large quantity of high quality images? If so then I would try to work out a deal where I promote their website in exchange for use sans attribution. Just a thought.

Let’s get some practice with attribution, for all of you bloggers out there, at stockphotos.io!

This site sources free images found on flickr and links you directly to them. It looks like Pinterest but don’t be fooled, you are only pinning images to your stock photos account. 😉 This is what it will look like when you have clicked on an image.Link takes you to flickr image where  you can choose download size. The creator and their license terms are also attached for easy lookup.

At the top you can see the link to the license as well as a link to the creator. Make sure to click on the license and read because it may or may not have further instructions for you.

License requiring attribution

The creator has given permission to use or adapt this image as long as I give attribution so lets go ahead and do that here.

Final image demonstrating attribution
Image by Jerine

When you click on the image you will be redirected to the image source. There you have it!


Now that you know the basics of licensing and attribution I am just going to tell you that Design Your Own Blog wrote a really great post explaining all the different types of digital rights and gave some fantastic free sources for photos.  Some of my favorites are:

Image of rainclouds and umbrella hanging from a doodle sky

Another place to find cute graphics is Graphicstock.com. It’s a paid subscription image site but offers a 7 day free trial. Do not overlook the free trials! These guys give you 20 downloads a day for free! If you don’t want to be charged anything you just have to cancel your subscription before the 7 days is up. It’s a great way to stock up on images quickly!! Also, when you obtain an image (paid or free) you are given a license of use for that image. Easy-peasy.


So, how could you use these images to market your Jamberry business? Here are some examples:Pretty faded out pictures with advertisement over the top

No matter what image source you choose it is your responsibility to confirm that you have the right to use the image. If you find that the licensing language is too confusing just walk away. Your number one concern is to make sure your marketing images are Jamberry compliant and that you aren’t stealing from someone, intentional or otherwise. You don’t want the compliance police knocking on your door!

6 thoughts on “how to properly use copyrighted material

  1. I love this post Tess, it’s so important for people to understand that you can’t just use any image (or content for that matter) on the internet! Thanks a million times for including DYOB as part of your post. :)

    Btw, your blog is absolutely gorgeous!

    1. Thank you! It is a subject that isn’t commonly understood or covered in my industry. I LOVE your blog and your post is something I return to regularly!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *