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Ouch!

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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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6 comments

  • All they are doing is preying on people’s innocence. Sad but true. Thanks for your input Anne.

    Karyn Climans on
  • The same happened to me – it was a couple of photos on our website that my developers missed in terms of licenses. They actually paid the fine but it shows how money-grabbing Getty and these lawyers are. Clearly it is a full time job for someone to just find little people like us to pursue. Be warned folks.

    Anne on
  • Thanks for sharing Shannon! Let’s hope someone else is saved from this nightmare.

    Karyn Climans on
  • I will be sharing your story with my Canadian Blogger friends. Thank you for sharing.

    Shannon on
  • The photos were used so long ago (about a year ago) that it’s hard to remember exactly where I found them. That said, I avoid the sites selling licensed photos like the plague (because I can’t afford to pay for photos on a site that isn’t a money generating site). By the way, you’re welcome to use any of my dog photos for free … my pleasure!

    Karyn Climans on

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