Step #1: Get Permission.
You should never re-post someone else’s original content without their permission. It’s very easy to download and re-post images, so as a society we’ve begun to see it as “not that big of a deal” but it’s just as bad as stealing any other type of intellectual property.
But What if I Credit?
Still bad. You are still taking a piece of content that someone else spent the time and effort to create, and distributing it without permission. While this generally isn’t as bad as re-posting without permission or credit, it still damages creators’ ability to control how their content is displayed and distributed.
They may have reasons for not wanting it re-posted. And contrary to popular belief, you’re not necessarily giving them exposure, and if you are, it may not be the type of exposure they want/need.
Think of it This Way . . .
If you gain value from their art, weather it be from pure enjoyment or just some new followers who followed you because you re-posted, you owe it to the creator to get permission to use the content that they worked to create.
Not to mention that the platform you share the content on may not even have the ability to credit properly. Instagram for example doesn’t let you post links under photos, so you may not be able to give proper credit if they have no account to tag.
But What if I Can’t Find the Original Artist?
Use google image’s reverse search to see if you can find the source. If you can’t, that’s a sign that the art has been stolen so many times that the artist likely won’t benefit at all from their work.
If you can’t find the original artist or creator, DO NOT RE-POST. This will, even if in a small way, indefinitely damage the creator’s ability to get exposure.
This may seem like the most harmless way to steal and re-post images, but it’s actually the most damaging.
You are just adding another voice to the chorus of art thieves who are already drowning out the web presence of the original creator.
Step #2: Properly Credit
So how do you properly credit? What do I include? Here’s a checklist:
- State that you obtained permission from the artist/creator.
- Their Name.
- Their Website (if they have one).
- Social Media Handle(s).
If they’ve got multiple, include the major ones like facebook/insta/twitter/deviantart/pixiv
- The name of the piece (if it has one).
If this seems like too much effort for one post, imagine how the person you aren’t crediting would feel. They had to spend time making the thing, and you got value out of it. If you don’t want to put in the effort to credit properly, don’t re-post it.