An IWSG Post – CYA

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Despite my… ah… current creative difficulties, I have actually been trying to work on other things related to the writing gig. I’ve been doing research on random things like history and tactics and occasionally some business consideration will pop up somewhere that makes me think “Hmmm, I should think about that.”

A post I read on Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog got me thinking about copyright, and how maybe I should think about putting the little copyright matter at the end of each blog post as she does. (You can read this article she wrote.  Or if you’re not to terrible interested in her work because she isn’t a lawyer, you can check out this one, who claims to be a US attorney, but I’ll be honest, I haven’t tracked that down and confirmed the bona fides on that.).

Not because I think I’m so awesome that people constantly search my site for something to steal, but because, well… random people take random shit. And while I doubt that most of my postings are that interesting, it is still irritating when I think about someone using it without at least changing the words up a bit. Kinda like a research paper – DO research your subject and communicate your finds while citing sources appropriately, DON’T plagiarize because that’s just rude and shows everyone what kind of a lazy shithead you are.

KKR’s recent business postings led me to other sites of value that point out things like “Ya know those pictures you’re using to make your posts more attractive? You might not want to do that even though you’re citing a source because…” (go ahead and read the free resources here.)

Dammit. Now I’m wondering whether or not my images are violating someone’s copyright. Does the one I used for the Password post violate copyright? (short answer – yes) If so, whose? Is it Mel Brook’s copyright because it’s his face and and his line from his movie Spaceballs or is it someone else’s because they captured the image from the video and wrote the line out over the image? Does the fact that I credited Spaceballs as owning the original image count and put me in the clear or am I still in violation?  (I wasn’t sure, so I yanked it.)

The thing is, copyright is an insanely murky world filled with clauses like “fair use” that may or may not mean to the owner of the image what you think it means.

Now, truthfully, the likelihood of someone hitting me up with a DMCA or a lawsuit for using the images I have used is slender. But slender is still possible, and “possible” brings with it painful thoughts.

“Katty, you’re worrying about nothing. No wonder you’re so stressed. I mean, damn, woman. You deleted more than half the images from your site when they’re being used EVERYWHERE.”

Shush. These are things one must consider now or risk getting squished in the future. Plus, there’s the principle involved.

“Oh, please, Katty, just go to or something and chill out.”

Have you read the TOS on that site? They don’t guarantee that those images aren’t copyrighted. They depend on the uploaders of the images to say, “yea verily, this is royalty free.” A number of people on the self-pub group I lurk on get pissed when they discover their book cover, an original piece they paid for, slapped up on a site like that, or even Pinterest, stripped of the title.  And the TOS on the “free image” sites also state (after translation into real people words) that if they get sued because you used the image, you agree to pay ALL of their legal fees.

So I stripped out most of the images on my blog. Not all, but most.

Now I’m stuck with using my own work, just to be on the safe side (I don’t have the budget to pay the sites for images – yes, I know they’re cheap, but I’m also only able to save $30 a month towards this self-publishing small business start up nonsense, so shush.).  Which means the art here will be… somewhat lacking in awesome-sauce. Awesome-sauce is also an expense I can’t afford. And making it myself is extremely time consuming.

On the other hand, some chefs extol the virtues of “plain.” They claim you can actually taste the individual flavors better and appreciate the dish more if you don’t drown it in sauces and salts and whatnot.

Anyway… I’m working on it. Because I’m paranoid.

*peeks through a slit in the shades*

Check out the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to see more writers dish about their concerns, their solutions to various problems, or just general ataxiophobia.


About kattywampusbooks

A SAHM with delusions of literacy.
This entry was posted in Random, research, Uncategorized, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to An IWSG Post – CYA

  1. fpdorchak says:

    Might wanna check out Wikimedia:


  2. fpdorchak says:

    And their TOS: …no, haven’t read all of it….


    • The vast majority of it is aimed towards their content contributors and “we depend on the community to police the content accurately, so it isn’t our fault if we (and you through us) are in violation of content use.”

      People might have more fun with my own badly produced pictures, anyway. 🙂


      • fpdorchak says:

        And I did notice that. In the time I spent looking closer at their TOS, after posting my comment here, I didn’t see much aimed at consumers…but I thought that was part of your post…using images. What I found was that consumers were free to use anything on the site, as long as you read and followed the artist’s release notice and gave attribution. There have only been one or two times I did not use something I really wanted to use because of a “minor” stipulation, and I think both times it dealt with public figures in the shots (dang it–at least one was perfect for my uses).


      • The post is mostly about images, and how I’m not interested in some entity like Getty Images saying “so, abou thtat picture you’ve used for the past year that you thought was free because it came from this site over here? No, it isn’t free, and you owe us $5000 for it’s use.” (That has actually happened, by the by).

        Of course, it could just be the paranoia talking. My paranoia and my husband get along quite well these days…


      • fpdorchak says:

        Paranoia loves company….

        Liked by 1 person

  3. S. M. Pace says:

    Yeah, I’ve decided to start mostly using my own pics as well, just to be on the safe side. At least until I can dedicate more money to this blogging/self-publishing gig.


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