Disclaimer: Before we go any further, I need to tell you that I am not a copyright lawyer and any information I present here is solely based on my personal research and understanding of this issue. Please do not take it as a final authority, only a starting place in your understanding of this complicated issue.
That disclaimer got you thinking, didn’t it. Copyright law is serious stuff. There are so many shiny images and graphics and quotes out there on “teh Interwebs” that it’s hard to keep in mind that someone had to create it, and that person owns it.
So, before we go any further let me simplify things. If you want to completely avoid copyright issues, attributions, etc… only put images and text on your site that you have created.
And yet… If you are like me you will want to line your home on the internet with lots of shiny tidbits of beauty and knowledge that precisely illustrate your message. (Plus, if I’m going to be honest, I’m a much better editor than I am creator.)
There are many facets to the copyright issue, but the most critical to our needs are this:
- Your site is a business. Any copywritten material must be approved for business use.
- When in doubt ask permission from the author/artist.
- Attribute, Attribute, Attribute. (more on this later)
Here is a link to the Creative Commons wiki page regarding best practices for attribution: https://wiki.creativecommons.org/Best_practices_for_attribution