Not really a wordpress item, but it worries me to no end. I use lots of images. And we all know, Google is like Ali Baba's cave.
I always to take care to insert artist's name into the jpg, if such data is available at the source, or insert it in the file name for mouse hovering. Any more excuses for, hm, borrowing someone else's visual creations? Yes, I don't use them for personal financial gain. My blog is HOBBY business. The way I feel it, is that I also offer an artist a bit of promotional backup.
I write a lot about art. One can use photographs of statues and sculptures on the street and in parks (public domain after all) of artists that are long dead, but someone took that photograph, and owns his/hers copyright to it. In cases where bells start to ring in my head (news agency pictures), or where there is a explicit warning not to copy/paste, I send readers on by way of a link. By law they don't have to place that warning, the copyright is always valid, in every situation. But hey, it's no use to maintain a weblog with texts only.
I never downloaded music or movies, I also don't upload YouTubes in my posts. Nevertheless, using jpgs is a form of copyright breach and thus stealing as well. I tried to take the legal road by mailing the artist/copyright holder to ask consent. If name & mail address are there on display, which often is not the case. Lots of images are multi-copied versions anyway. Most of the time the copyright holders don't even take the trouble to return your mail. As a consequence, I would have to abort the post.
One can inform an artist of what you did, and simply wait for his protest and request to remove the image on the double. Some may be content with just that and an apology, but it's not always the end to it. Even if the image has been on your blog for just 15 minutes, even if you hide your whole weblog, or wipe it, legal action against you can be proceeded. The copyright owner, when finding you out, will make a screenshot of the theft. And don't try to save your hide by pointing at WP and Google as partners in crime, it won't work.
I deleted two WordPress weblogs so far, in sheer panic. The fear of being sued. I'm not Croesus, just one allowance for compensation would damage me substantially. I know the figures, they can go up to thousands of euro's/dollars. Per image.
What are your thoughts on this, WP customers? The best thing is to take your chances? And above all keep mum about it? Too late!)
The blog I need help with is sgreifwonder.wordpress.com.