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One Essential Rule to Avoid Breaking Image Copyright Laws

One Essential Rule to Avoid Breaking Image Copyright Laws

Websites, social media and blogging have made copyright issues downright confusing.

It is so easy to copy, download and share images off the web that you do it without thinking. But just because you can, does not mean you’re allowed.

Copyright imagesWhat is copyright?

Copyright means having the legal right to reproduce and to communicate your work. As soon as you snap or create an original image, you have automatic copyright of that work, whether you stamp it with a little © or not. No-one else can use it without your permission (except Facebook of course!)

Hence the majority of all sharing, pinning, retweeting and posting of images (including memes) undertaken on the internet and social media in Australia today, technically breaks copyright law. The fact that we are not all before the court on copyright infringements is due to the costly and complex process of laying charges. (And not to mention the web is a rather large place to police)

Respect copyright ownership

Since marketers and business owners use the internet for commercial purposes, we bear both a legal and moral responsibility to respect copyright law. Do not assume by simply acknowledging the original artist it releases you from violations. You are actually using someone else’s material for your commercial gain (does the word stealing strike a chord here?).

Copyright owners are now going to greater lengths to protect their rights. Major image libraries are using sophisticated image-matching robots to crawl the web to identify where their images are being used without permission!!

Solution

The number one rule to ensure your legal safety with the use of images is simple – create your own. But then be mindful that:

  • You own the copyright, not a contractor
  • You have model release (if there is a person in the photo)
  • You have not taken a photo of a substantial part of a literary or artistic work

What if you can’t create your own? Then you must assume every other photo in existence is copyrighted by someone else. To legally use other artist’s images, you have several options:

  • Ask permission of the owner
  • Wait til copyright duration has expired and the work is in the public domain
  • Use images with Creative Commons licenses (must attribute creator) or “clip art”
  • You acknowledge the owner and use of the image would fall under the legal category “fair dealing” (when used in your school assignment or for reporting facts and news)
  • Join a stock photo site but ensure you check the sites’ terms of use

Summary

So in laymen’s terms DO NOT

  • Copy and paste images from the internet and use them for your business
  • Remove watermarks
  • Add your logo to someone else’s images

I also then hear you ask – Can I take a photograph in public that contains images of people I don’t know? Short answer yes, long answer and exceptions read here

I emphasise that this article is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer. I am a business owner who has joined a stock photo site to respect the rights of artists (term used loosely).

Rae Brindley, 2Ear Solutions, rae@2earsolutions.com

5 Tips for Writing a Killer Blog Post

5 Tips for Writing a Killer Blog Post

blog post imageWhy does writing a Blog put fear into people’s eyes.  Most business owners get “writers-cramp” at the very thought of it.

 
However, there are a few simple tips to get started, that are easy to implement and you can do straight away.
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But the first rule is…..JUST GET STARTED.

  1. Quick Fix.  Organise your points in your blog by a numbered list of items such as: “10 ways to improve your marketing ROI” or “30 minutes a day to double your network in 30 days” or “2 Killer moves to kick start your online sales”.  This process works well, and also appeals to the readers who are after a quick fix of content.
  2.  

  3. Bold Headlines. Be strong, in-the-face, and no messing around. A cut-through Headline is Gold.  Busy people by nature are skimmers – and if they are skimming through their newsfeed, then the strong headlines that are well written and compelling, are going to get the most attention.   Keep them short and to the point.
  4.  

  5. Reverse Expectations. If you really want to get some attention – Start your Blog title with a NEGATIVE.  This angle gets noticed, because it instils the fear-factor that exists in all of us.  For example. Instead of “LinkedIn rules that you shouldn’t ignore” – try something like…. “One sure way to get your LinkedIn account closed”.  Watch them sit up to attention with a reversed expectation, as a Blog title.
  6.  

  7. One Message Only. Never try and cram 3 or 4 different topics into a Blog.  Keep to one key message. Then expand on that message, and give examples and reasons why it is important.   Too often I see a Blog topic turned into a War and Peace novel.  The simpler your message is, then it is more likely to be digested.  Your audience will love you for it, and will be keen to follow your next post.
  8.  

  9. Statistics. Statistics, Quotes, Surveys andNumbers are always a winner. Statistical information will provide credibility to your Blog, and your thought leader status.  It is easy to find information from well respected journals and other publishers.  Use the statistics, and then write your own thoughts around what these statistics mean to your audience.  Be the interpreter, and always give examples on how the stats apply.

 
It is important to follow simple rules, be disciplined, be consistent, be truthful and be bold.  You do not have to prepare yourself for writing a book.  Think of a Blog as sharing a “thought” or sharing “advice” which your audience will find helpful, intriguing and valuable.  If you ask yourself “what does my audience want to know” or “what are the questions my audience always asks me”…then the answer to these questions can be the very start of your first Blog post.

Happy Blogging !!!

sandra pigram

Sandra Pigram – Social Media Business Boosters

sandra@smbboost.com

www.socialmediabusinessboosters.com

How to Increase Exposure for Your Great Content in 9 Easy Steps

How to Increase Exposure for Your Great Content in 9 Easy Steps

Do you have great content, blogs, ebooks, information, videos, presentations or resources that you want the world to see?

Hello WorldBusinesses and brands put a lot of time, energy and money into resource development and then forget to promote it. Don’t post once and forget – that comes under the failing of “build it and they will come”.

You need to plant an orchard and tend the garden – who thought I had a green thumb!

Jeff Bullas recently posted about the art of content hustling – I prefer a less intrusive term – shake your bootie! But what he listed hit the nail on the head.

Before you publish

  1. Check your headline will grab your readers’ attention – blog posts don’t go viral – headlines do
  2. Proof read your resource to ensure it is littered nicely with your keywords
  3. Verify your image is 400 x 209 minimum in size but in the ratio of 1.91:1
  4. Ensure your meta description is emotionally grabbing to your audience – this is what they will see in the thumbnail so you must make it irresistible for them to engage
  5. Complete your SEO basics by ensuring your keywords are in your category, tags, meta description and the image alt tag

Bootie Shaking

1. Post to Facebook

  • Utilise hashtags
  • If Facebook hasn’t selected the photo you want, manually insert a larger image
  • Don’t forget to do the same to Google+

2. Tweet It

  • You can use more hashtags here
  • Don’t forget the headline and link
  • If you have the time utilise the picture capabilities of Twitter
  • Tweet liberally

3. LinkedIn

  • Also post it to any of your groups to which the resource is relevant

4. Email

  • Don’t include your entire blog. Post an enticing introduction and hyperlink them to the complete resource

You have valuable content – make it easy for people to find and share

If you would like assistance or training in this area contact me at rae@2earsolutions.com

Why Some Brands Continue To Innovate and Most Do Not

Why Some Brands Continue To Innovate and Most Do Not

Brands are really about bringing a rational and emotional connection to a consumers. The best brands allow people to have fun and when you have a brand that combines a rational value proposition together with a emotional connection it’s really powerful.

The best brands have a strong element of personal engagement and for the solid performers this is often leveraged with Social Media alone. The brands that survive are those brands that in fact have what is called “a higher purpose”. This is more than just selling a product: it is changing and impacting people’s lives.

LEADING BRANDS CONSTANTLY INNOVATE
If any brand wants to be considered ‘leading’ it is a must to innovate in the marketplace all the time.

If a business is involved in getting products or services in to a consumers hands then a commitment to service and a commitment to being trustworthy is critical. Oddly, most companies don’t want to make a commitment to service because it is a long-term investment. They also don’t have the right metrics in place to know what is getting returns.

3 FIXES TO MAKE ANY BUSINESS A SURVIVOR

  • A leading brand will know exactly those service and support interactions that improve results,
  • A leading brand will know how to drive retention
  • A leading brand will be on the hunt to increase loyalty at many different opportunities.

If the opportunity arises tomorrow morning to re-invent the way SMBB does service we won’t hesitate! I’d like to think this is part of the DNA of most of our industry peers? What I am confident of is that this is is part of the DNA of each and every one of our franchisees as they consult with their business clients around the world.

Are You Missing The Opportunity To Connect?

Are You Missing The Opportunity To Connect?

For those of you getting to know me you have probably picked up on one character trait that appears to stand out. I am a pretty open character and yes, I am a creative person needing to be constantly challenged. A risk taker, a talker, I get bored quickly.

We all need a sounding board and a confessional – sometimes intimate, sometimes explosive, even entertaining, someone with whom we can share ideas / opinions / advice. People with whom we can offload and share anything. My sounding boards have been invaluable – occasionally because of the incisive advice they’ve provided me with, but more often just as a listening post to which I can outpour.

I have often wondered how I would have coped had I not had someone/somewhere to talk to? It strikes me that it must be extraordinarily difficult to flourish as an business person/entrepreneur – with all the trials, tribulations, pressures and pinch-points that our daily lives involve without having access this person.

I’ve found these things to be useful:

  • It can’t be anyone related to you;
  • It can’t be someone that either spends money with you… or whom you spend money with;
  • They have to have an educated perspective on whatever it is that you do;
  • Money can’t change hands;

If you already have your sounding board in place and you’re utilising them – then that’s fantastic. Well done.

If you haven’t got someone like this that you can turn to and offload upon, then I urge you to give it some serious consideration. In doing so consider the business space you are in. It is difficult for conservative types to understand transformative business. Evaluate your sounding board to see if they’re still returning value – every seasoned business person can lose touch of innovation – in our vertical innovation is paramount.

What kind of advice can bring extra vibrany to your business?

PS: If you see something in this, pass it to your team.

Photo: Via dellphotos (flickr)

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