How to Tell If An Image is Copyrighted
Published April 3, 2023
Employing internet-copied images is risky, as you may be in infringing on copyright law. With the development of the internet, right-clicking and saving an image has been an easy task, but you should only use it if you are aware of the existing regulations! In this article, we will inform you how to know if image is copyrighted.
How to Know if Image is Copyrighted
There are numerous ways to determine if the image is copyrighted. But, the most conventional approach is to search for the photo on Google Images or Bing Images. However, there is no guarantee that you will always be able to find the image that you are searching for. So, here’s a list of what to do to tell if an image is copyrighted:
1. Find the Original Poster
Some people upload photos to their own websites, while others do so via third-party platforms. One way to determine whether a picture is protected by copyright is to locate the original poster and ask them about the image’s legal use. So now we need to figure out where the original image was posted.
Start by doing a reverse image search using the image. Find the image bearing a copyright notice or the term copyright in the search results. In addition, you need to know when it was published and who the original poster was.
As a second option, you can check if an image is protected by visiting the U.S. Copyright Office online; they have compiled a database and online catalog of images for this purpose.
Start by navigating their website and putting your title/keyword in the search box. You may also upload the image or drag and drop it into the search box.
2. Look for General Signs
It may not always be noticeable whether or not a photo has been copyrighted, but there are some obvious signs that can help. Among the most common ways to avoid protected photos are the following:
- A remark stating the image’s ownership or source
- Watermarks; are symbols or words that are put over an image to keep it from getting used without the owner’s permission. They can be hidden or displayed. It is possible to remove an image watermark, although it is strongly discouraged.
- The presence of a copyright symbol on the image
3. Look for the Exif Data
Exif data are metadata that can be used to how to know if image is copyrighted and check a file’s properties, as they are mostly used to store information regarding an image. Typically, it stores image size, graphic file format, and other details.
Simply download the image you’re interested in and then head to the file’s “properties” tab to have a look. Then, to access the data, click the “Exif” or “Details” tab. Check the image’s metadata the next time you want to see its copyright status. Check to verify whether any valid data references the copyright holder’s information.
Copyright Infringement is Punishable by Law
Copyright infringement is a crime, and those who do it will not go unchecked. You should know how to know if image is copyrighted since various copyright owners set different restrictions for their copyrighted photos, and it is important for anyone planning to use copyrighted images to be aware of those terms.
If you cannot verify an image’s source and have doubts about its legal use, you should refrain from using it. If you ignore the conditions for the usage of copyrighted images, you can be punished.
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About The Author
Krizzia Paolyn, is an SEO Specialist and author based in the Philippines. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. It has always been her passion to share her voice, and at the same time, to encourage others to share their voices as well. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.