I invite you too look at the visual below that I had recently composited in Canvas with images found online by searching ‘Honda‘ as my keyword. The thing is, those are not my original photographies at all. I only used them to play around for this blog post.

[Question] Is this allowed to do in terms of legal and ethical concerns?

Let’s be honest, you must have had the fear when using images online that has been shared many times by others, or posted by original creators in any image stock websites or social media platforms, right? No matter what the purpose is, I am sure that an answer to this question has been in a limbo for a while. Nobody wants to find themselves in an accusation for violating licensed work, ideas or knowledge, for an amount of charge that you or I cannot afford. Today, I will share a simple walkthrough on how we can avoid about that.

Sharing, modifying or distributing images of any forms of media (videos, images, logos, texts, quotes, etc.) in social media platforms must follow the copyrights rules licensed to the work for three main purposes:

  1. To give credit and acknowledgement. As a courtesy, it is always safer to respect each other as you do in person. After all, the concept of ‘digital platforms’ is not really just a digital podium anymore;
  2. If you are a well-known blogger, or social media manager for a brand or organization, surely will you not want to be fired. Most of all, it is the reputation that will be damaged;
  3. Comply with legislation, and you will not get poorer.

There are different terms and rules for content used by every image stock website (Flickr, Pixabay, DeviantArt, ect.), social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.) and brands (such as Tim Hortons, L’Oréal and the other billions of companies). So you must be careful and be wise enough to check those first before even thinking of downloading.

There will be copyrights signs that you may find predominant elsewhere, or uncommon ones. Common Creatives have definitions for those symbols, and a detail explanation of what you can actually do with those medias if one, two or more of those copyrights logos appear. For brand’s images that you would like to use, always check out whether they have a newsroom platform, usually where you can find the terms and rules for using their owned content. For example, you would not be allowed to use L’Oréal‘s images from their newsroom because their terms and policy for intellectual property prohibit users from using brand’s content for private, commercial or personal use.

The images I found online have been modified for this post. They are sourced from different image stock websites. Below is an example showing how they are sourced (you can use other formats too).

  • Image 1 – Motorbike: Titled ‘Honda S2000′ by Matt, sourced from Flickr. This image is protected under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic)
  • Image 2 – Front profile of a Honda Car Model: (No title), sourced from Pixabay. This image is released under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal License (Public Domain Dedication).
  • Image 3 – Bumper of a Honda Card Model: (No title), sourced from Pixabay too. This image is released under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (Public Domain Dedication).

Below is a brief summary of what the above licenses mean by Creative Commons:

*Creative Commons CCO: You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission

*Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 2.0: Free to share  (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format), and adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material)

Before we end this please remember: using online images is like finding valuable information from a book that you need for your academic thesis. Cite, credit and show gratitude!