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Using Images from Elsewhere

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By Barbara Gastel | Jan. 4, 2009  | None

Greetings again. I hope that 2009 has started well for you.

Maybe you noticed the photo that accompanied last week’s posting. It had the caption “Sunset at Joshua Tree National Park (photo credit: National Park Service)”.

Writing this caption reminded me to discuss using images that aren’t one’s own.

Photos, diagrams, graphs, and other images can enhance our writing. If the images are original ones that you prepare yourself, you can simply use them.

To use images from elsewhere, permission generally is needed. For example, when I wish to reprint (or post) an image from a journal or book, I generally need permission from the publisher.

Obtaining such permission usually is easy. Websites of many journals include e-mail addresses for seeking permission. Sometimes forms for seeking permission are posted.

When permission is given, the publisher (or other copyright holder) commonly says how to state the source. Some publishers or other copyright holders charge a fee to use images.

Some publications and websites state that their images can be used freely, without obtaining permission. However, the source of the image still should be listed.

For example, the photo collection at the Joshua Tree National Park website includes the statement “These images are in the Public Domain and may be reprinted without charge. Please credit the National Park Service.”

I could therefore use the photo from Joshua Tree National Park without seeking permission. And I remembered to list the National Park Service.

What about the photo accompanying this week's posting? I took it myself and so don't need permission and a credit line. I did, however, say where the photo was taken.

Wishing everyone a good week!



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