I received a complaint this week from a photographer whose image I used for a picture prompt on Real Toads last year without permission. Fortunately, he insisted only on its removal but he could have brought a law suit against Real Toads. Artists who use the internet, poets among them, are all too aware that it is something of a double-edged sword: our work would not be known if we did not post publicly, but our material may be wrongfully used if we do.
I have added a disclaimer the bottom of our home page, which does not, in itself, protect us from being sued, but merely states that our intentions in using images are not for profit, but for artistic value. I undertake to go back through our posts, and with the help of willing members, to remover or replace any questionable images. I will also be doing this on my own blogs.
Many poets feel that an image enhances the reading experience of their work. The following sources have been suggested as legitimate picture pools, though it must be said that Photobucket is open for abuse. Anyone can upload an image that does not belong to them, and use it under the auspices of the common licence :
Flickr Creative Commons
If anyone knows of other sites offering free images, please include a link in the comment box.
The photographer who made the initial complaint has shared the following article with us, and it is something all bloggers should read and take very seriously. Ignorance of the law is no defense.
Bloggers Can Be Sued
One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.