Updated: Jul 15, 2019
For both photographers and those interested in obtaining images.
It is illegal to copy, publish or perform copyrighted material without permission from the copyright owner, even if no-one is making money from using the work.
Images that I place on social media, such as Facebook and Instagram are available for the public to use privately if they specifically attribute myself as the creator and ask permission ( just ask in a comment). The images are sized and of such a low resolution that printing is not feasible but displayed on your monitor or device they look fine.
I will from time to time make some higher definition images available to download and use privately ( such as in my screen saver gallery )
If you want to legally download great images go to unsplash.com you may find what you need there and not cause any copyright issues.
What is copyright?
To have copyright is to have the legal right to copy something. Copyright is the legal term to describe a person’s ownership of their creative “works”. Anything that is an original piece of writing, drama, music or art work is protected by copyright laws. Some examples include books, songs, photos, movies or paintings.
Copyright protects the way an idea is creatively expressed, not the basic idea itself. For example, you can write a song about the same topic as someone else but you can’t copy their words or tune.
Copyright laws are quite complicated but the person who creates a work is usually the copyright owner. That means they are the only person allowed to do things like publish, perform or copy the work. They are also usually the only person allowed to make money from the work. Anyone who publishes, performs, or copies a work without the copyright owner’s permission has broken the law.
Copyright protection is automatic. As soon as you write a song or paint a picture you have copyright in that work. You don’t have to put the © symbol on your work in order for you to have copyright in that work.
Copyright and Social Media
Copyright covers works that are created or shared on social media websites. BUT, the website’s terms and conditions may change your rights to the work. Some websites give themselves the rights to copy and use your work without asking you. For example, Facebook gives itself the right to use anything you post, including your photos, videos, art work and text. This is the same with YouTube, Google, Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr. You should always check a website’s terms and conditions before using it to share your work. If you are not happy with the terms, use a different website that will let you share your work without limiting your rights.
Many of the creative works you can find online are protected by Australian copyright law. This includes works that were made overseas.