To .gif or not to .gif?

Hello everyone.  I've been doing alot of research on using images, .gifs and videos on your blog and was wanting to know what you all think about the issue.  


I read a really good article here:  which covers using images on blogs and knowing if you are allowed to use certain images. 


I always try to find images with Creative Common License or ask permission.  If I can't find the original owner then I'll use Google Image and TinEye to try and find them but it's not always easy especially with a .gif because so many people post them, repost them, alter and change them and very few people actually credit the original owners but even when using Google Image it's not a sure thing because it doesn't cover every country out there.


As long as I source my photo and give credit them I'm okay right?  Not really, if an image is copyrighted then giving a source doesn't protect you from legal action.


It doesn't matter if you didn't know you were doing wrong.  It doesn't matter if you made no money off of it.  Disclaimers do not help to protect you against legal action and taking the image down after the fact will not protect you either.


Basically what it boils down to in legal speak is if you didn't get permission to use an image from it's owner then you can be found liable.  None of the above will protect you.


All of this very much bothers me.  I know the chances of being sued over a silly or goofy .gif, image or video is probably astronomically low.  There are billions of blogs and websites out there doing it.  I'm not judging or putting others down either.  I'd really just like to know what everyone thinks.  


I personally love blogs that use images and .gifs.  I know some people hate them.  I think most people either really love or just really hate gifs when it comes to book reviews.  I happen to enjoy reading fun reviews that cleverly use .gifs but I HAVE BAD LUCK!!!  Seriously, I am the kind of person will find that needle in the haystack, usually in my freaking foot!  It's hard to want to use images yet have to ask permission for every single one.  Most people don't reply, it's super hard to even find the original owners and half the time the people that you think are the original owners probably aren't.  It takes longer to add content to your blog and just makes it so much more of a hassle.  The odd's are against you ever being sued for this but it does happen.  I've talked to a handful of people who have all had to deal with lawsuits over using images on their blogs.  Just do a google search on being sued over using images on your blog and you'll find plenty of people. 


Then there's the whole fact that many .gifs and images, videos etc are from movies which are copyrighted.  To be free of an legal action you would literally have to get permission from the people who own the rights to the film and any and every actor in the scenes that are on the image which is insane.  You know you will never hear back from any of them much less get permission. 


So I have an additional question.  Can you run a successful blog without images and .gifs?  Or can you run a successful blog with only using them every so often?  Personally I want to get permission before I use anything for my site.  I don't mind what others do it's just I have to do what feels right for me.  It's a bit of a pain but I sleep better at night for it.  Am I being ridiculous?  Too cautious?  Or do you think each person should do what they're comfortable doing on their blog? I think I'm going to personally ask for permission for all images I use before posting them. and/or get a camera/video camera and start making my own.  Lord knows I have more than enough pets who are always doing something crazy lol.  


So those are my questions: To Gif or not to Gif?  That is the question I'd like to know! Yeah yeah I know it's not very poetic, doesn't rhyme or even sound halfway cool but I'm no Shakespeare :D 


(A Very Big Thanks to Nose Graze for allowing me to use her post and link in my blog post)