In 2016, using images on social networks is as ubiquitous as the internet itself, but having the right photos for your Facebook fan page can make or break a social footprint. Using images with permission or a license is the best practice, but you should never use copyrighted material without permission or a license.
Copyright seems to be a gray area for most people today, and in particular Facebook fan pages, with people often wondering if they need permission to use someone else’s content for Facebook. Well, the short answer is yes, but we will get into that below.
It is absolutely important that you read the licensing terms on your stock photo agency's website so that you know exactly what you can and cannot do with stock photos on Facebook. The majority of stock photo agencies have rules that clearly state you must put a copyrighted watermark with the photographer's name directly on the photo before placing it on a social network.
Luckily there are some that don't require you to slap on a watermark in order to use them.
Our partner stock photo agency, Stockphotos.com, has standard licensing that is different from most stock agencies. This site offers unlimited uses of any downloaded stock image, zero time limits once using the photos, and you can use them on your fan pages, timelines, or anywhere on Facebook you'd like to forever.
Currently, they're running a special membership called ‘Club Easy' that gives you 200 XXL image downloads of any size for $99. And, of course, you can use all 200 of those downloads for you Facebook page if you like.
Here's what's included with Club Easy:
- You get 200 XXL Image Downloads (300dpi or up to 6′ x 6′ with 72dpi)
- You can choose from over 8,000,000 High Res Photos, Vectors & Fonts
- All images are licensed royalty-free and can be used FOREVER
- Only $99 per Year with NO additional or Hidden fees (a one-time fee that will auto-renew)
- Extra 100 downloads on your first year at no added cost (total 300 images for $99)
- Bonus video downloads and image upscales, as well as an exclusive 50% discount on Extended licenses
- An Extra 10 free XXL images on top of your subscription using our exclusive Stockphotos.com coupon
As you’ve already probably assumed, you can only use someone else’s content and creative works with permission and proper licensing, otherwise it is illegal to use them on a social network, or anywhere for that matter.
Here’s Facebook exact wording:
- Facebook is committed to helping people and organizations protect their intellectual property rights. The Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities does not allow posting content that violates someone else’s intellectual property rights, including copyright and trademark.
- Copyright is a legal right that seeks to protect original works of authorship (ex: books, music, film, art).
- Generally, copyright protects original expression such as words, images, video, artwork, etc. It does not protect facts and ideas, although it may protect the original words or images used to describe an idea. Copyright also doesn’t protect things like names, titles, and slogans; however, another legal right called a trademark might protect those.
We all see people using images they’ve found on the internet, and people re-sharing copyrighted material from someone else on their timelines.
So, is this legal? To reshare something is fine, but when someone actually takes a photo, downloads it and puts it up on Facebook without permission or a license, then it is not legal.
Most likely because the copyright holder doesn’t know it is being used, or because they think it would be a waste of time, money, and effort to try to enforce their copyright claims in court. However, bigger companies are more likely a target for legal action than a single person.
So what is the appropriate usage of stock on your Facebook? Well, there are plenty of stock agencies around, including our own, that have very little usage or restrictions when using stock images for your Facebook posts.
If you’re already a photo buyer, the normal rules in regard to using stock images for Facebook will be easy to understand. There are a few clear policies in the copyright agreements that make certain uses prohibited, but most of them are common sense.
Don’t's when using on Facebook:
- Do not use stock images in a manner that “is considered pornographic, obscene, immoral, infringing, defamatory or libelous in nature.”
- Do not use full-face images where the image can be interpreted as personal or the person in the photo representing a cause, action, or campaign.
An example of this is using an image of a model to be the ‘face’ of an HIV campaign, or drug rehabilitation center where it could be interpreted by the public that the model, is in fact, a person who has HIV or is a rehab participant.
- Do not post stock images on a status update where it is interpreted that you own the photo.
- Do not archive stock photography in your albums. Facebook is very clear that all uploaded photos onto their site are archived FOREVER.
Now that you know all about the does and don’t’s of IP holders, copyrighted works, and how to use royalty free photography, we want to give you a list of some stock agencies that will work well for your page.
Right now, Stockphotos.com has a great membership available for photo buyer’s called Club Easy (or just “The Club.”)
Here’s what’s included with a Club Easy membership:
- All images, vectors, and fonts from a library with over 8,000,000 images included
High Res Photos, Vectors & Fonts
- 200 XXL downloads each year (double the downloads of Dollar Photo Club)
- Royalty Free License
- Use the images FOREVER
- Bonus 100 downloads in your first year
- Extra video downloads, image upscales, and member's discount for other products
- Subscription only $99 with NO additional fees!
- NEW: Auto-renew: secure the low-price deal for as long as the offer exists
- EXCLUSIVE: 10 extra downloads with our Stockphotos.com coupon
- Shutterstock has 80 million images in their collection (the largest royalty-free collection in the world), with 50,000+ fresh images added daily
- Shutterstock has images (photos, vectors, illustrations, icons), video, and music as well
- Enhanced licenses available with a limited selection of editorial licensed images
Shutterstock is the first agency which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange
- The Shutterstock standard license has many advantages over other stock agencies
Shutterstock images are high-quality
- Over 8 million exclusive images you won’t find anywhere else – including photos, illustrations, vectors, audio and video.
- Free weekly photos, illustrations, video clips, and audio clips.
- iStock is owned by the biggest photography agency in the world, Getty Images.
- Over 8.5 million images and growing every day
- File types sold on Bigstock are images, illustrations and vector files
- One Standard and one Extended license
- Over 19 million images, including photos, vector images, audio and video files with over 2.5 million contributing photographers and designers
- Free weekly images, a free image gallery, and more free images if you join their Facebook fan page
- Extended licenses can be purchased with credits
- Over 25 million images (and counting)
- Images added weekly
- File types sold on Depositphotos are images, vector files and videos
- Royalty free and Extended licenses only
- Free subscription option for new members
We should all know by now that when using content on a social network like Facebook, especially a fan page for your business, using someone else's material without permission or license is not acceptable. Using stock photography for Facebook is a great alternative to getting into legal trouble when you want to illustrate your page.
But when using stock images, there are two rules of thumb you need to keep in mind: 1. Check the license to see rules for using them on a social network; 2. Check if there are any time limits that restrict how long you can have them on your fan page or timeline. Click here to buy a Club Easy membership and use your stock images forever.
If you want to bypass having to look at the fine print of the stock agency, consider joining Stockphotos.com so that you can use your downloaded images forever and without any watermarks.
In the meantime, respect the photographer who took the photo and uses common sense for your Facebook fan page.
Image © PictureLake / iStockphoto – Editorial License