Paper written by Steven Brown, Etienne Lawyers, B.Ec, LL.B, (Sydney), M. App. Fin (Macquarie), FAICD, Accredited Business Law Specialist, AIMM, FPIAA and Chairman of Etienne Lawyers.
To use or not to use photos legally
Have you received a letter for using images without permission? Do you want to know how to use photos legally on your website and social media profiles?
Page views, likes and clicks are what we all want to help grow our businesses. So, we look for ways to increase our online presence.
Social media and websites are fabulous marketing tools. We use social media and websites to sell product and get new customers for little or no money. It’s never been this easy to market ourselves, our products or our services.
Every SEO post and guru tells us that we need to tell a story. So, what better way than ‘with a thousand words’ – how do we get our thousand words, but with a picture of course. Images and graphics are powerful tools. Images will convert more customers and sell more product than text alone. As a result, we task ourselves with fi nding the perfect image.
What To Do
Now comes the tricky bit. Where can we get that elusive picture to tell our thousand words, exactly as and when needed.
Oh, that’s right, there’s this thing called the internet and it is full of pictures. We can browse the internet and fi nd the exact image we need. Don’t worry we’ll credit the person who took the photo or created the image. They’ll love the extra publicity we are giving them. WRONG.
You need to make sure that you use photos legally. So, the fi rst task should be to make sure you know what is legal and what isn’t.
Can I Use Those Photos Legally?
Photographers and artists own their images. The images have rights attached to them, even if there is no copyright listed. It’s very easy to copy and paste from a websitepage. But, a letter may arrive stating that you have committed copyright infringement. You could end up paying signifi cant amounts of money, far more than you can imagine.
What’s The Cost
Getty Images seems to be on a crusade to stop image theft. We have had several clients come to us with letters they have received from Getty Images.
Getty Images has tools to crawl websites and social media posts. They match the image they fi nd to copyrighted images. Then they send out those offending letters that nobody wants to receive.
While most of us aren’t professional photographers we need a solution to the problem. While the solution may seem unattainable, with knowledge and care you can get that image you need.
Go to https://etiennelawyers.com/ use-photos-legally/ and download the free ebook 12 Essentials for Using Photos Legally. It will help you understand how to use images without fear of prosecution