If you receive a letter about an image you’re using on your website, you should get in touch with an attorney right away; we can’t provide you with legal advice.
This article will talk about proactive ways to avoid this from happening in the first place.
Why You Shouldn’t ‘Grab’ Photos From Just Anywhere
Besides the glaring issue of not giving credit where credit is due, the biggest reason to avoid this is legal/licensing fees.
We’ve seen it popup where a client has used an image on their website, or maybe their webmaster used it on their behalf, a while back. Then, suddenly, they get a legal letter referencing that image demanding a fee for using it without a license.
Where Not To Take Images From
When sourcing images for your website, it’s first important that we cover where you shouldn’t be using images from:
- Google Images. Never copy photos from Google Images and use them on your website. You can search Google to look for inspiration or to even find stock photos,
- Random Websites. You might like an image that you see on that random site, and feel free to save it for inspiration, but don’t use the actual photo on your website.
- Social Media. Like other sources, don’t copy images from social media pages or profiles and re-use them, whether on your website or your social media page.
Note: if you want to use images for your reference, to use as an example, you can certainly take it from anywhere; just be sure not to use them on your website.
Instead, Where To Get Safe Images
- Pexels. This is a free stock photo/video website that we send to all of our clients. While the selection isn’t generally as good as a paid website, it’s a great place to start.
- Deposit Photos. This is the site we refer clients to if Pexels doesn’t have what they’re looking for. It has a vast collection and usually has more industry-specific images.
- Any other paid stock photo website. There are tons of paid stock photo websites out there; iStockPhoto, Getty, etc.
Please remember, if you’re ever not sure if you have a proper license to use an image — just find a new one. It’s not worth the potential headache down the road.