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Picture Copyrights

Learn about picture copyrights, and why you should respect them.


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At one extreme is a presentation that is bereft of any visual content, and the other extreme is a set of slides that have all visuals and almost no text. Yes, we do live in a world of extremes! We are not advocating which is a better approach, but contemporary presenters almost always make sure that they include many visuals on their slides. The adage, a picture is worth a thousand words is popular, and yet the truth of that statement may not hold good in at least one scenario, and that is all about where the visuals originated?

Many people are happy searching on Google's image search or image searches on Bing and Yahoo! They then copy/paste the visual content they find right into their slides!

Also use this as Alt tag of image

Now that approach may work for an 8-year old kid doing a school classroom project, and even in that scenario, it is debatable if using this option is ethical or not.

The worst offenders are presentation creators from the corporate world, who follow the same procedure: copying/pasting from Google's image search results. The worst part is that many offenders don't believe they are breaking any copyright laws. They believe that almost anything on the web is free! Fortunately, this is not true.

Here's a story you must know about: The secretary for the company's CEO inadvertently copy/pasted pictures from a competitor's web site into the slides of the presentation that the CEO was delivering at an industry forum. How did the secretary do that? That’s because search results don't prominently show the source site of image results! Had the secretary known that the images were from a competing web site, then the story may have turned out differently.

Now, the same competitors were part of the audience that day!

Can you imagine that the secretary could do something so foolish? Can you imagine that the CEO never once checked the slides until presenting? Worse than the copyright issue, the CEO recommended his company’s products with the images of a competing product!

The sad part is that such occurrences happen more frequently than we can imagine, and not many people get worried about such blatant violation of copyrights!

There's no excuse to not worrying about copyrights, especially with the amount of free and low priced visual content that is available. Even if the content was not free or low priced, the loss of reputation and face resulting from such copyright violation is not something any company or professional can disregard.

To know more, do read about Public Domain and Creative Commons. You may also want to learn about using photos in presentations.

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since November 02, 2000