in Ask Steem Anything3 years ago (edited)

Concept of copyright infringement. Kinds of piracy — Stock Illustration by enotmaks of Depositphotos


Members of this community have been allowed to post content with images without strict policing of the legality of images being posted. As a consequence the number of copyright breaches in this community seem to have increased and have gone unnoticed for sometime.

Copyright law is complex and varies slightly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Since most of you are not legally trained in copyright law, you may not be fully aware of what is required of you in terms of compliance. Ignorance of law, however, is not a defense at law. Therefore you cannot plead ignorance to escape liability for civil breaches or criminal offences.

Posting content anywhere online using images owned by someone without a license or an express permission from the owner of the copyright is essentially theft in a moral sense (strict legal definition of theft does not include copyright infringement). Although many offenders are not prosecuted or sued for copyright infringements due to various technical reasons, that in itself doesn't expunge the gravity of the offense.

Principally, there is no difference between you stealing someone's car and a work of art that is copyrighted.

BOTH ARE THEFT, in essence.

After having stolen the image, many of these offenders even go on to display their ignorance by providing a link to the source of the copyright material. This is akin to a thief, after having stolen a car, displaying prominently in bold letters the source of the stolen property on the car!

Criminal proceedings aside, the owner of the copyrighted material can also bring a civil case against the person in breach of copyright. Depending on the statutes of limitation of the jurisdictions, an action can be taken against the offender years later. Remember that your content on blockchain cannot be erased. Every transaction is recorded for posterity. So when you replace the offending images with compliant images, record of you having posted images in breach of copyright will still be on the blockchain. Just that you can now show the latter compliant images for your defense in case you are sued or prosecuted. Whether your defense succeeds or not is another matter. In any case, copyright owners are unlikely to trace your image history once you have replaced non-compliant images with compliant images.

Copyright owners generally target repeat offenders after giving the offenders plenty of space to commit breaches of copyright over a period of time. Even if they know that no damages or compensation can be recovered from offenders with little financial means, they can and do sue such offenders and proceed to declare them bankrupt simply to set an example for others.

Because no action is taken against the offender for now or years later doesn't make the offense a non-issue. Always remember:

Such conduct always remains a reprehensible conduct whether or not legal action has been taken against the offender and

An action may be commenced against the offender anytime before the expiration of the limitation period, if any, allowed under the law.


To ensure effective monitoring of copyright compliance and to ensure that no breaches are committed by the users of this community, we have to insist that ALL images in this community (posted previously and to be posted in the future) provide an attribution in the proper format. (See References below)

The attribution should ON THE FACE of it clearly identify

  • the description of the image (when there is no description just say Photo or Image),
  • the name of the copyright holder and
  • the type of license granted

without the reader having to click the link provided.

However, in the case of free stock photos (such as that provided by, you should follow the format specified by the stock photo company itself. Their attribution format will invariably include the name of the company and usually will not specify the type of the license granted as it is understood to be free stock photo from that company.

Some of the supporters of this community who have been regularly upvoting content in this community have been informed and have agreed to withdraw support for content with infringing images or images that have no proper and effective attribution.

Repeat offenders will be muted/banned permanently after 3 reminders or earlier. Repeat offenders may also be downvoted, instead.

If you have previously posted content with images that have no proper attributions, please go back and add the attribution for the images provided you have permission to use those images. If not replace them with images for which you have permission to use and provide a proper attribution in the format required.

If you are using a paid or free stock image, you may provide attribution as shown above in the vector image used for this post.

Ideally you should follow this practice in all your postings at all times wherever you post online and should not restrict it to this community only.

Henceforth, make sure that you have permission to use the images (i.e. they are free to use images or commercial images for which you have purchased licenses) before posting them.

Click your own images, if that is possible.

If you are using your own image:

  • you may wish to reserve all rights to to it by simply appending '© copyright, owner: yourname' below the image or

  • alternatively you could put your image in the public domain allowing others to use it freely for both commercial and non-commercial purposes with attribution.

For your public domain images, you may append below the image:

This image by @yourname is licensed under Creative Commons License


This image by @yourname is licensed under CC By 4.0


This image by @yourname is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

If you don't have an image to post, you may post without any image. It is not against the community rules to do so. Just that you may not get the attention that posts with images get.

For a detailed explanation of the various ways in which you could share your own images see the link below on How To Share Your Own Images.


Unless you are trained in copyright law or a journalist, professional blogger, editor, etc whose job requires you to be familiar with copyright laws, it is best that you stick with images from reputable sites that offer free to use images, such as,, or

Any other images from anywhere else is very likely to be copyrighted image for which you don't have permission to use. These include images from Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, News websites, Blogs and other social media sites. If you are using these images without a thorough understanding of copyright laws, there is a very high probability that your are breaching someone's copyright.

The attribution requirements of Wikimedia commons can be a little intimidating for beginners and you may want to avoid them for the time being till you get familiar with the terrain.


Please resteem this post to ensure as many members as possible are notified of this notice.

Also confirm that you have read this notice with a short note in the comment section.

Thank you.

A special thanks to the following members who have been regularly supporting this community through a subscription to ask.steem curation trail or otherwise: @xeldal, @fun.sports, @abc.find, @attractions, @alexanderpeace,,,,,, @xaas, @dinvest, @juderita,, @pennylane2020, @davchi, @wilford, @borisjimenez and @poorvik


Best Practices For Attribution

How To Share Your Own Images

Guidelines on Copyright Standards in SteemSTEM

Copyright and Steemit. What happens when this place gets big? Could posters be liable?

cc. @ask.steem,, @attractions,, @fun.sports,,, @xaas, @whyaskwhy, @alexanderpeace, @jovita30, @dibie, @cinnymartins, @mm-writes, @mirabelify, @mesopat, @wendy50, @elshadr,,,, @steemfirst, @juderita, @papi.mati, @digitalwaiter, @dinvest,, @vyasgarima, @famigliacurione, @talktofaith, @calybos & @jahzy.


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