I’d like to use photos from Wikipedia in my next book. It looks like I can use them for free. Is this true? I don’t want to make the mistake of violating someone’s copyright.
This issue came up last week when one of our authors submitted a manuscript with several photos that were obviously pulled from the Internet. I, of course, asked him where he obtained the photos and he said some of them were from Wikipedia. I then used Google’s image search option to find them and they definitely were NOT in the public domain.
Wikipedia makes it appear that you can use photos from their site. However, despite the disclaimers and attribution verbiage posted on Wikipedia, we definitely do NOT recommend using any photos from that site.
People from all over can upload files to that site and, naturally, some of those people won’t know and/or respect copyright law. Copyright infringement penalties can range from a few hundred dollars for accidental use to tens of thousands or more for intentional infringement.
As proof that not all photos used on that site are legal, they have a place on their website for people to report copyright infringement appearing on there.
Just because a website states you can use photos that were uploaded by others, YOU can still get sued for copyright infringement for using those photos yourself.
“Ignorantia legis neminem excusat (Latin for ‘ignorance of law excuses no one.’)”
Source: Wikipedia (Yes, that’s where I really found the quote!)
- “Have I Committed Copyright Infringement?” Yes, You HAVE!
- Increase Your Freelance Income Through Stock Photography By Joan Airey
- Want to Get Sued by a Model? Put His/Her Stock Photo on the Cover of Your Controversial Book!
- Attn: Authors and Their Ex-spouses – Please Keep Your Publisher OUT of Your Marital Problems! by Angela Hoy
- 10 Tips and Tricks to Become a Digital Marketing Ghostwriter By Kelly Vo
90+ DAYS OF PROMOTING YOUR BOOK ONLINE: Your Book's Daily Marketing Plan by Angela Hoy and Richard Hoy
Promoting your book online should be considered at least a part-time job. Highly successful authors spend more time promoting a book than they do writing it - a lot more.
We know what you're thinking. You're an author, not a marketer. Not to worry! We have more than a decade of successful online book selling experience under our belts and we're going to teach you how to promote your book effectively online...and almost all of our techniques are FREE!
Online book promotion is not only simple but, if you have a step-by-step, day-to-day marketing plan (this book!), it can also be a very artistic endeavor, which makes it fun for creative folks like you!
Yes, online book promoting can be EASY and FUN! Let us show you how, from Day 1 through Day 90...and beyond!