Yes, darlings, it is some CYA (cover your ass) time!
For the past year, I've heard rumblings and you know those kind of "friends of friends of friends" urban myths about people using stock photos and then being threatened and/or sued for using the image. I could never verify the legitimacy to the tales, but they always struck a chord with me--perhaps because of the possibility of this cunning plan working. Regardless, it has made me cover my own ass when I use stock photos, and more importantly make sure my clients' asses are covered.
So, if you are not in the loop on this, it's time to get in.
The Story/Myth/Legend/Scam goes like this:
A photographer posts his/her image to a stock photo site and has the image listed as free for personal and commercial use with no attribution required. It's all clear to use is downloaded and used on various websites, social media, or what have you.
Months go by and the photographer removes the image from the original stock photo site and then goes on the hunt for those that have used it. The photographer then launches a cease/desist campaign or worse threatens payment / lawsuit etc. for illegal use of the copyright image to those who have used their image.
The person who downloaded the image and has used it is now in rather crappy position if they don't have proof that in fact the photo was downloaded and used under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence. They either stop using the image, pay for it, or worse continue to get threatening letters of copyright infractions. Talk about a curve ball, especially when the download/use of the image was legit.
And that is why having a bit of proof to cover your ass will help to get you out of hot water if the time comes.
Here's How to Cover Your Ass
Each and every time you download a stock photo, take a screenshot of it. Be sure to include the name of the stock site, the URL, the image itself and even the CC0 licence (which is on the side bar of some sites.) Keep those bad boys in a file.
In the example above, you can see the URL, you can see the CC0 licence to the right, which also states "free for personal and commercial use" and "no attribution required". And you can see the site it comes from (in the URL and the social media buttons on the sidebar.)
How I Cover My Clients' Assess
So if, one of those photographers ever come calling looking for a payout for copyright infringement, I have proof and so does my client that the photos were used according to the licence agreement.
It's a bit more leg work for you to provide this for your client, but hey, as the saying goes, Noah built the Ark before the rain!
WANT MY CREATIVE COMMONS CLIENT SWIPE FILE?
Send me an email. I'll hook you up.
If there is one thing I know about entrepreneurs, solopreneurs and business owners is that you have a lot of balls in the air with your biz. But when you are doing invoicing and managing your social media calendar, booking your own flights or doing data entry off the side of your desk, when do you have time to plan your next product or launch?
As David Allen (big wig thinker and author on personal productivity) said, "You can do anything but not everything." Read that again--you can do anything but not everything.
So why are you trying to juggle everything?
The truth is, you don't have to when there is a booming little industry called "virtual assistants." You can pass off some of those balls for them to do, which leaves you focused on the bigger, momentum building things for your business. Besides, who wouldn't want to trade up juggling balls for knives and flaming hoops?!
Perhaps you've been toying with the idea of bringing a VA on-board but are not sure how to begin or where to go.
No worries! I've got your back on this one. I've put together a guide for you to walk you through seven-steps to identify all those balls in the air and figure out which ones to pass off to a VA, in addition to tips and suggestions on getting started and working with one.
And don't worry, the guide is totally free. I don't even ask for your email in exchange. Just use the damn book--no strings attached.
I've been incredibly lucky to have worked and continue to work with amazing clients on some cool projects and ongoing activities in their business. However, I also know some VAs who haven't been quite as lucky. This is why I feel compelled to help business owners understand how best to work with a VA and guide you through the initial stages--basically set you and your VA up for success and get things started.
If you have any other questions or if I can be of further help, please feel free to contact me.
Otherwise, download the guide. Go through the steps and see if you are ready for a VA and learn how to pass over some of those business balls.
Ok, so you are rushed for time and can't be bothered to go into some our favorite sites to download pictures (read them here), so instead you use Google. Perfectly fine, but if you want to do it the right, errr legal, way, then here is how to go about it.
Depending on how you will use this, "Labeled for Reuse" or "Labeled for noncommercial reuse" will be best options, unless of course you are happy and able to modify the image.
So there you have it, your quick and easy ninja tip for searching for images you can legally steal and use from Google.
FONT SQUIRREL is the answer.
This is the place to download commercial free fonts. Yes, commercial free, meaning you can download and use the collection of fonts for business purposes. There are many sites out there that offer free font downloads, but most are intended for personal use only and not commercial use. Ooops!
What we love most about the site is you can search for the font you need based on classification (serif, sans serif, script) or for the non-typography people, you can search by tags (curly, cute, or grunge). There is also a search based on recent downloads, popularity or size.
So, if you are looking for some new fonts for yourself or your business, this is the resource.
I’ve run into some challenges when I have selected some fonts marked with “offsite”. When you click to download you are directed to another site to get the font. However, any fonts downloaded directly from Font Squirrel have been seamless. Tip: Set your search options to include onsite downloads by selecting “local only. “
Like many small business owners or solopreneurs, particularly when starting up, things have to be kept on a shoestring budget. But that doesn't mean it needs to look like it's been done on shoestring budget, especially with the dozens of sites hosting stunning stock photography for free!
Here's a list of our favorite stock photo sites--and each one has our stamp of approval--they are all user friendly and searchable by key words or themes, popularity and some have a search based on colour palette.