Internet photo police are a real thing. I learned this lesson the expensive way last year. I received a formal letter from Getty Images citing that an image on my blog from 2007 was copyrighted and the image company had no record I paid for use of the photo. Apparently, big photo houses now have teams of professionals watching the web and also use special image tracking software to find illegal photo usage.
I immediately looked into their claim and found that the blog article and photo in question was posted by an intern who had worked for me. I was not aware that there was a violation as I trusted that the intern knew the rules of copyright protected images and usage.
The Getty representative explained that ultimately the company that is using the photo is responsible for fees on any copyrighted image. While the representative believed that I was not aware of the violation and that one of my employees posted the image, the fee of $800.00 was due regardless.
So I paid the bill and removed the image.
If you are using images in your blog, make sure they are copyright free or in fact you have paid the source to use them.
The Wall Street Journal ran a good story called “A Guide to Happy (and Legal) Tumblr-ing” about blogging, images and content usage. It’s worth reading as they share some excellent places to source all.
Here are two sources I use often.
iStock.com -Low cost, quality images (most images for low res and blog usage are under $10.00).
Picasa.com – Owned by Google offers many images for free usage in blogs (this is good source but takes more time to find good quality and free images).
Plus, don’t forget to tap your own creative work and shoot original photos when you can, there’s no cost, other than the camera. And if you shoot a killer image, just give yourself a bonus!
For more information on photo copyrights and to get free stock photography, view:
Stock.Xchge – Free stock photography