06 August 2014

A chart to help you determine if you can use an image

Images are an important part of our genealogical life. Whether we write a blog, are producing a family history, posting on Facebook, sharing on Ancestry.com, etc, images are often involved.  The key is to know which images you can use.

Lifehacker has published a graphic Can I Use that Picture? The Terms, Laws, and Ethics for Using Copyrighted Images (a small version is reproduced above) created by The Visual Communication Guy.  Do read his short introductory blurb on this page where he states “The reality is, though, as long as you become familiar with four terms–copyrightfair usecreative commons, and public domain–you’ll have a pretty good idea what you can and can’t do with images.”

This graphic has been making the rounds on various genealogy and family history Facebook (FB) pages.

Additionally, do read the comments, the genealogy community’s own Thomas MacEntee posted clarifications on a couple of issues and others have posted similarly informative responses as well.

While you are visiting the website, check out what else he has such as The Seven Deadly Sins of Punctation.  After all many of the pictures we use are to accompany text we’ve written!

Did you find other neat gems on his website?

Editor's Note: A reader suggests that you consult this chart When U.S. Works Pass into the Public Domain. Note that this chart only refers to U.S. works.  Copyright law is unique to each country of publication. [added 7 August 2014]

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