In case you somehow missed it this week, author Roni Loren wrote a blog post about getting sued for using a photo on her site. It spread across the internets like wildfire because we’re all guilty of inserting pix into our blog posts, reposting on Tumblr, Pinterest, etc. (I’ve deleted my Tumblr and taken down all my Matt Bomer Monday posts *cries*.)

While most of us assumed “fair use” (since many provide attribution and aren’t selling the image) or “everybody’s doing it,” apparently that isn’t the case. Since we, as writers, know how badly it stings when our work is pirated, we obviously need to find a better way.

Kristen Lamb

In her post, Loren lists a few sites that offer copyright-free photos, but blogging maven and author Kristen Lamb–innovator that she is–came up with a solution. She created a Flickr group for authors to share their own images with other authors, copyright-free. It’s called WANA Commons (WANA is Kristen’s acronym for “We Are Not Alone”).

One of the sexier photos I uploaded to WANA Commons

I’ve uploaded a number of photos under the name steph_lawton, and I encourage you to set up an account and do the same. Already there are some fantastic images, but as we all know, most of us write about people … doing things. Often to each other. Ahem. If you have photos of people doing … such things, please feel free to add them to the group. You know, unless you’d like to blog about flowers and dogs and architecture. 🙂

If you do contribute (thank you!) make sure to click the “owner settings” off of “all rights reserved.” Honestly, I’m not sure what the different levels of copyright mean and I’m too busy/lazy to research it, but I set mine to “Attribution Creative Commons.” Basically, I don’t care what you do with my photos. Use them, abuse them, alter them, etc.

In other news, I’m on vacay this week in the cooler climes of northeast Ohio (don’t ask) where I also have a few book events lined up. I won’t be posting a Six Sentence Sunday snippet, but I’ll be back ASAP. I’m also branching out from writing YA to adult and possibly erotica, so watch for my new blog and twitter handle. Still trying to figure out how to let people know about it without completely blowing my cover.

Oh, hey, and WANT is on tour. Lots of embarassing author interviews if you want to gather ammo. 😛

ANYWAY, have a great week!