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Image posting guidelines

This post explains the policies on image posting.

Guidelines on using images in your posts

Any image published in the internet is NOT free for others to use. Even if it is not explicitly mentioned, the images are owned by the people who made/drew/photographed/created it.

We use Google AdSense in our sites and Google policies does not allow us to use AdSense in the sites involved in any kind of copy right violations.

Do not copy images from other websites and post it with your posts in this site, with the exceptions listed below.

General Image posting guidelines

1. The best way to use images in your posts are to photograph them yourself or draw them yourself. In that case, add a watermark to the image with your name.

Re publishing photos taken by other photographers and media people are generally not allowed.

2. If you have a post related to gadgets, it may be okay to take some images from the original manufacturer website. Most manufacturers will like free promotion of their products. (However, there may be exceptions, so you may want to read their policies to make sure you are not violating their copy rights. In case of gadgets, our editors will assume they are free distributable images unless it has any water marks.) However, if you are taking an image to write a bad review of that product, it may not be okay to take their image for that purpose. The bottom line is, ask this question yourself: Will the owner of the image be happy that you are using that image?

3. Images with watermarks are generally not allowed in this site, unless the image is some special case and the entire post is irrelevant without that specific image. In that case, you should explicitly mention where did you take the image from. For example, it is illegal to use Microsoft logo in any website. But if you are writing an article about 'What is Microsoft's Logo?', then the post is incomplete without that logo. So, you may use the logo in the post explicitly stating this image is 'Microsoft logo and is taken from this source'.

4. Do not post offensive photos of any people including movie actors. You are legally responsible for any legal issues arising out of publication of such photos.

5. Do not post images of people, unless it is an image where people appear in small size, but the primary theme of the photo is not the people in the photo. Also, avoid using photos where people appear in embarrassing or private places. For example, you should not take a picture of a night club with some people standing in front of it. No one will want to have their photos in front of a night club circulated everywhere.

In case of public ceremonies and stage programs, you can take photos of people in the stage with your camera and publish.

6. If you are posting content about businesses, in most cases it may be okay to take pictures from the original business website. In such cases, our editors will not check for the copy rights of the images, but you are still responsible for any copy right violations. For example, if you are posting an article about Microsoft, it may be okay to post an image of Microsoft office if it is taken from Microsoft website. However, if you are posting an article about Google and want to show how ugly Microsoft office looks, it will not be okay to take the picture from Microsoft website for that purpose. The bottom line is, ask your self: Will the owner of the image be happy about the way you are using that image?

7. For biographies etc, we can better look at the related picture in wikipedia and check its copyright status. The copyright status is often explicitly given; and if it is free then there is absolutely no problem. In some other cases, the photographer's name is given. In that case, if we borrow the pictures and acknowledge the debt by adding something like "Image by Mr. ABC, borrowed from Wikipedia", then there will be no problem.

8. Pictures of great people of yesteryears can be used. After all, it is not possible for anyone today to shoot Shakespeare with his or her own camera! So all pictures of Shakespeare available on the web are copied and are on thousands of sites and there is no problem with that. Please note that this is for "historical" people only.

9. Tampering of any existing photo to make it look different should be avoided.

10. Some websites allow reproducing their images in other sites. However, it is hard to find of they really own those images or if it is actually originated from other sources who actually do not allow sharing images.

11. There are so many sites which sell images. Typically, they cost from US$1 to US$5 per image. If you want to be 100% compliant of all copy right rules, then your choices are limited to either make your pictures, take photos with your camera or pay money and buy the images! Search for stock images to learn more about purchasing photos. Many sites claim 'free photos', but if you read the details, you can see that we require to post a link to their website from all the pages where we use their free images. (or, they could be a fraud site who simply take pictures from internet and sell it.)

12. News papers get photos from agencies with whom they have agreements to share photos and that is why you will see same photos most of the time in all news papers. But we are still not allowed to use those images since we do not have an agreement with those agencies (which costs lot of money).

We often receive emails asking us to remove images and content from our sites since they are copy righted property of someone else. There is no reliable way for us to verify many of those claims, but we usually remove those images and content from our sites, if those requests sound like genuine request.

The bottom line is, ask yourself: Will the owner of the picture and the people in the photo be happy that you are re publishing it? If the answer is "NO", then you should not publish it. If you are in doubt, don't post it.

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