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Intellectual Property Myths and Facts

Intellectual Property Myths and Facts

It’s a common issue we see sprinkled all over social media – stolen intellectual property (IP).  There’s a lot of things people don’t understand about IP and we want to help navigate the murky waters of online content.

Intellectual property

Myth #1: Everyone is doing it so it must not be wrong.  

You’ve seen the quote meme’s, the inspirational photos, the viral images on Instagram and Facebook.  You see celebrities, businesses, bloggers, brands, and friends posting them so what’s the big deal if you just Google an image and post it on your page (public or personal)? It is a big deal because the image belongs to someone, someone took the time to take that photo or create that graphic and for this reason it has value.  By using their work without permission or credit you are stealing from them, and we all know that stealing is wrong.

Myth #2: Google Image Search is a pool of free-to-use images.

Google Image Search is a resource to research images and find posts or articles concerning specific topics.  Images you find on Google image search belong to someone – and as such aren’t just free to use with out permission or credit.

Myth #3: There’s no way to know where an image really came from.

So you see an image or project you like, and you want to share it but you don’t know where it came from? Google has actually made it easier to find the source of an image through reverse image search.  Much in the same way you search for an image using keywords, but instead you can paste the URL or actually upload the image to find where it’s found on the internet.  Yes, sometimes the image is used so often that it may be impossible to find the original source. But in that case you just do not use the image. Usually you can find a source to contact for permission or to credit.

Myth #4: Using (stealing) someone else’s content isn’t actually illegal.

Using the IP of someone with out permission and credit is actually illegal, it is stealing.  You may not see many cases of lawsuits making the news, but there is a rise in content creators standing up for their work and fighting back against stolen IP.  Brands and businesses have to be careful to walk within legal lines and make sure that the content they are sharing, producing, or promoting is legal, credited, and unaltered.