(Imagine the image of the Monopoly jailer sternly pointing you to the Jail Square because I do not have permission from Parker Brothers to reproduce their artwork.)
Ever gotten the pants scared off of you? I spent a restless night worrying about (of all things!) this blog. After a scary heads-up post from Kelley at The Road Goes Ever Ever On and an even scarier warning post from Roni Loren's Blog, I took several hours last night to remove all the images from Lost In Kudzu. I made exceptions for artwork from bloggers promoting challenges and memes because I assume that those are meant for the express purpose of display on blogs (if I am wrong about that, someone please correct me right away).
I echo Roni when I say that I learned how to blog by imitation. I was drawn to blogs that had neat / pretty / interesting images, so when I crafted my own blog, I wanted to use neat / pretty / interesting images. Other book blogs used cover art, so I used cover art. When things such as copyright entered my mind, I thought that I should be covered by Fair Use and the 1st Amendment, and after all everyone else was using cover images. Surely not everyone was contacting publishers for permission? I do not make a cent off of this blog and I do not think I've ever had more than fifty hits on a single post. Surely no one would pursue me for damages from something I posted or re-posted?
I am taking my cue from others who've obviously learned their lesson the hard way. I am not a lawyer and do not have the time (or inclination) to research every image on the 'Net. That means that the safest thing to do is not post images at all unless I've taken them myself. With only a three year old smartphone camera at my disposal (my techie husband assures me that a three year old smartphone is a dinosaur in mobile devices), that means lots fewer images coming from this blog.
Believe me, I am not unconcerned or glib in any way about infringing on someone else's intellectual property. I certainly have never, ever intentionally misused or misrepresented any content on this blog. I am actually in awe of you folks who know how to make and manipulate all those fantastic images, and I understand the desire to protect photos and artwork. Hopefully I have never angered the one photog willing to pursue legal action against me and have never been noticed by the giant publishing house with a hundred lawyers whose job is to take me to court over sharing the cover of a book I liked.
Sigh. Lost In Kudzu is meant to be a fun hobby for a getting-close-to-middle-age woman with zero artistic / creative skills and with few outside interests other than reading and writing. Being sued is not on my Bucket List. Here's hoping that my public grovel and promise to do better will appease any angry copyright holders ready to pound me into dust. Back to my regularly scheduled reading ...