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This post is for all bloggers, writers and publishers whose function require the usage of images for their writing content. As we all know, visual enhancement contained in any type of writing can make a big difference in the percentage of post viewing. Images convey a message to the reader that transcends the meaning of words. Sometimes, the message represented in a photo or picture is sufficient to catch the attention of a reader and enough to make him/her want to read about a certain article. Due to the obvious importance of images, it is vital for the writer to ensure that the pictures that will be used in his content are not copyrighted or if they are, that he/she asks for permission to use it. So which steps need to be approached in those different situations?

1- IF AN IMAGE IS COPYRIGHTED: the first thing to do when ready to pick an image for your content ( if you don't own any pictures ) could be finding out whether the images that you search thru online are copyrighted or not. A safe approach would be considering any image that's not yours, a copyrighted one. Many pictures and images that cannot be used without the owner's permission have the copyrighted icon on them or somewhere near them, others may have overlays of symbols or text imprinted over the image or elsewhere. Either way, it's best to assume that all images that you didn't create belong to someone else and it's safe to always try to look for the owner and ask for permission before using it. An alternative would be using copyrighted image banks that allow you to use their products in exchange for a fee such as

2- IF AN IMAGE IS NOT COPYRIGHTED: for those who don't want to pay anything for the pictures or those who don't really have the time/patience to chase after an image's owner and ask for his consent before using the picture; a solution could mean either learning to create your own pictures or researching free photo banks that provide free access to their images. Morguefile is a highly recommended place to find free pictures on the web. Note that an image is still considered copyrighted when making edits to an already created picture: the fact that you take a picture that belongs to someone else without their approval and make changes to that image doesn't mean that the new and improved product you designed is now yours.

Knowing if an image is copyrighted is a very important information to be had by anyone who writes and publishes content because it can prevent facing legal charges if one day, the owner of a picture you have innocently used, decides to file a lawsuit against you. Let us therefore use caution when picking images for all sorts of writing content in order to always be on the safe side!

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