What I learned about attribution from studying the Markethive News Feed
In a nutshell, many of us who post on the News Feed do not use attribution correctly, or not at all. Does this matter?
Well, the answer is yes and no. Right now it probably has no consequence, but in the future, it could and the consequences might not be pretty.
Let me explain. There is no need, of course, to use any kind of attribution on an affiliate link. If your post concerns news or information of any kind, you really do need to give credit for the source of the information, as well as the image that you post.
If you do not do this, at this time there probably is little or no consequence for you. In the future, when Markethive becomes the juggernaut we believe it can be, there may be some undesirable consequences that you would certainly like to avoid. Now is a good time to start to use attribution correctly so down the road, you do not get bitten in the arse.
Out of 100 items I checked on the News Feed today, I found about 1/3 of these posts had properly attributed sources and images. About 2/3 did not have any attribution at all. When I google searched the images without attribution, in most cases I found large numbers of sites that were also using the same image, most without attribution as well.
I have to say I was embarrassed to find one of my own posts that I had forgotten to include an attribution to a post that I referred to that I found on Medium. (I have since corrected the information with the proper attribution).
So what does this mean? Actually not much for now. Even if the owner of the original image wanted to pursue legal action, it would be quite difficult to bring suit against dozens or a hundred different sites where their image was used.
Supposing you were to receive a message from someone asking you to remove a particular image from the News Feed. Right now depending on when that post was made, it might be very difficult to track down and delete the offending image. With the new curated content style News Feed, I think it would be possible.
In case you feel that all this attribution stuff is for the birds and does not matter, I think we should all play it safe and use attribution as much as possible. Once you get in the habit of doing it it becomes easier. Not to be a doom and gloomer, but keep in mind that copyright law is quite strong in the US. The law provides a range from $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed. Infringer pays for all attorney's fees and court costs. The Court can issue an injunction to stop the infringing acts as well.
So I guess word to the wise, we should begin to clean up our act so far as attribution goes, give credit where credit is due. It is not hard to do, and it may actually save you from legal entanglements at some point in the future.
John Lombaerde – Markethive Entrepreneur One