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What Is a Copyrighted Image? What Does Copyright Mean in Image Use?

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Don't steal copyrighted images on the web, please - thanks!

If you didn't take this, then it isn't yours to take away....

© Kathleen Crislip
Question: What Is a Copyrighted Image? What Does Copyright Mean in Image Use?
Answer: A copyrighted image is one that is protected by copyright. That mean someone owns the image: someone either paid to own the image, or created the image; either way, the image is not free. You can assume any image you find on the web is copyrighted and that you may not download and use it for anything (nope, not even your not-for-profit study abroad blog) without paying for it or getting permission to use it without paying for it from the image's owner.

Almost all the images you will see here on About.com's Student Travel are copyrighted to Kathleen Crislip, for instance. That's me. In most cases, I traveled somewhere, sometimes rather expensively, and went to a certain amount of trouble, sometimes defying military or police or literally giving my blood (certainly my sweat), to take the photo... and I did it in order to share that image with you right here, not in order to give it away for free. Think of right clicking an image on the web as being like downloading a movie from Pirate Bay -- it's theft of something that costs money to make and is not supposed to be free for the taking (and with images, as opposed to movies, you can enjoy 'em for free: just don't try to take 'em away with you).

Copyrighted images on the web are not free -- karmically or financially. So, what Is a Copyrighted Image? What Does Copyright Mean in Image Use?

If you'd like to use a copyrighted image from About.com's Student Travel, write to me at studenttravel dot guide @ about.com, and I'll be thrilled to chat with you about it. In the meantime, don't right click anywhere on the web unless you know the image is not protected by copyright: if you didn't take it, don't take it. Thanks, amigos!

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