I recently received an invoice from Getty Images for $1800.00 for 2 images I used on my blog site without realizing they were licensed images. Of course, I removed the photos immediately and replied to Getty Images with the following explanation: I found the 2 images as a result of a deliberate search for royalty-free images, and in a location I genuinely believed was open source/royalty-free. Needless to say, the matter did not end there. This experience has left me feeling extremely vulnerable because it’s becoming increasingly confusing and complicated determining which songs, images, logos, and tag lines are licensed and which are license-free. The world wide web is changing the way we all interact and do business. Does this mean I will be billed every time I quote someone even if I give him or her credit? I sincerely hope Canada doesn’t end up like the US in terms of the large number of lawsuits. Frankly I don’t want to live in a society where I’m looking over my shoulder the entire time. I’m not sure if it’s greed that is perpetuating this issue or the overabundance of lawyers who are looking to stir up business. This blog is meant to serve 2 purposes. Remind people that you have to be extremely careful when using images found on the internet. As well, encourage you to share your stories so we can all learn and, hopefully, avoid costly mistakes.
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- Tags: Beware, Blogging, Business, Copyrights, General, Licensing, Small Businesses, Social Media, Trademarks