It bears repeating: Do not take images from the internet and use them on your own website without having proper permission. Otherwise, you are liable for copyright infringement, and subject to harassment from law firms that search for unauthorized use of their client’s photographs. Do not assume a photo online is available for use even if it relates to your business or organization. If you cannot trace a clear line of consent from your use back to the photographer, then you risk liability for infringing on the copyright in that photograph. Inform your employees about proper procedures for use of others’ photos. Inform your divisions and affiliates to make sure they know the rules. Be sure any personnel who have the opportunity to post on your website or social media accounts are being careful. It costs less to acquire a license or find an online resource that allows free usage than it does to pay off an attacking lawyer or pay damages in an infringement case or settlement. When obtaining a license, be sure it allows the type of intended use. The Fair Use defense applies to certain types of unauthorized uses but obtaining proper copyright permission is safer.
Ned T. Himmelrich
410-576-4171 • firstname.lastname@example.org