RealtyTech's Blog

With the age of social networking upon us, sharing internet content has become a staple of our lives. An interesting infographic here, a must-read article there… “sharing” really has become an incredible part of our current social culture. And while the internet is home to a seemingly endless supply of content, it’s become extremely important to know how you can use it correctly (read: without getting fined).

Let’s start by getting this out of the way – Sharing is good. With outlets like Facebook, Twitter and more, sharing original content gets page views to the original authors. Linking back to a content creator’s website is exactly what they want – it gives them recognition for their work and rewards them for it. So share away!

Now, when it comes to using this content on your own website, copyright issues come to play. Unfortunately, a vast majority of internet users don’t even realize this is a problem until it’s too late. The most common mistake is simply taking an image from Google’s image search to use on a different website. Remember that all of these images are from someone else’s website and whether or not they choose to come after you, if they own the content, they can (and it can get VERY expensive). It’s also fairly easy for content vendors to track down stolen content.

For instance, using sophisticated web applications and programs, image vendors are able to perform a reverse-search on the images in their inventory to locate all places the image shows up. These searches use precise algorithms to ensure that no matter of image altering will make the image “un-findable”.

So how can it be avoided? After all, there are occasionally those images that would be “the perfect fit” for your website. Get permission (from the original creator), create the content yourself, or buy it from a web vendor. Unfortunately, that’s about it if you want to ensure that you won’t have a mob with torches and pitchforks outside of your house.

Always remember, it may be perfect for your site, but how much is it really worth?