If in doubt, ask
Given the sheer volume of content on the internet, copying other people’s work has become almost commonplace. From a legal standpoint, however, the rules are pretty clear.
Whether it’s an image, report, recording or other applicable work, Leask says, “this is someone’s creation – they’ve authored it in material form and you’d need to get their consent to use it, and presumably give them credit. Assuming there are no exceptions regarding fair dealings, unauthorised use of a substantial part of the work may constitute a breach of copyright.”
Of course, there is room for interpretation, but it’s always best to play it safe. So, before you post someone else’s image or content on your site, or social channel, Leask says, “find out who owns the copyright and, if necessary, pay a licence fee, which will typically give you the right to use it for a specific period. In practical terms, it’s about credit where credit’s due.”