Review your website, or someone else could be doing it for you!
It seems that items to be aware of when posting on blogs, social media, or your website are the use of photos. These types of materials and licenses are necessary to use when posting on social media channels or your website. Whether you use a Marketing platform or Membership in an organization that provides you access and rights to photos, you have a license to use these materials only while you are a client or member. But what happens when you leave or end your contract? The permit does not follow you with rights to these photos after you cancel services. Would you happen to know your rights and options on either replacing those photos or replacing this with another subscription? Not knowing your contract rights can lead to costly fines or letters from legal firms that monitor the use of these photos on the web.
The fine for non-license use of photos starts from a scan of your website combing all your photos, which may go back years. Each image is embedded with a scan-able code and searches for a license for use. The penalty runs per photo and will identify each area on your website, the photo’s name, and the cost for using each image.
When an image has copyright protection, no one else can use the image without the owner giving permission. The only way to legally use a copyrighted image is to obtain a license or an assignment from the copyright owner.
Here are several ways to be sure you can use that image.
- Making your graphics and taking photos is a way to avoid copyright
- Pay for licensed
- Find free stock
To see if a photo is copyrighted, click on the image, and select “copy address.” Then paste this into Google Images or a site dedicated to reverse image search, like TinEye. This will show where the image is used and where it originated.
Using a Copyrighted Photo Without Permission Will Get You a Copyright Infringement Demand Notice. Here is a basic fact everyone should know just because a photo appears in a Google search does not mean it is a free photo that you can use. You could be sued if you use it without permission or if it is copyrighted.
Marketing platforms or Membership in an organization providing you access and rights to use images and materials lasts only if you are a member or pay dues for access to these services. This is a critical step if you are preparing to switch vendors or marketing platforms. The rights for usage of photos will end when the cancellation date approaches. Do you have a site map of your website? And the links to your pictures with the pages of the website you host these on?
If not, you are leaving your agency in a position of notice of copyright violations. The cost of an annual service you control is always best. If you change platforms or end services, you will not have to redo all photos on your website. Services and packages allow you purchase or get a specific number of images each month at a minimum. If you decide to use the member services or resources a marketing platform provides, create a site map, and note the photos and pages of your website and links, and the number of images. This will save you a lot of trouble further down the road, no matter what your plan or path you decide to take. Craft your plan and update it as you change your web pages and document and track your images.
Some recent examples are 2020 – 2022 on sharing photos and posting on Blogs and social media channels and some of the repercussions.
- Typically, if a company or individual has violated copyright, a person would receive an email or letter from the company on images letting them know a fine has been given because of the violation, regardless of who committed the offense.
- Example emails and situations from 2015 in Europe
- https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/image-copyright-infringement-getty-images-scam- letter-franco-de-bonis
- Blog example from 2021
The unintended consequences of using unauthorized photos and costs for using them.
In the situations that I have read about on Google and provided with the link above if a base company hired another company to sell them a website, if the hired company uses a photo, the base company could be charged for that. It would be seen as a copyright infringement.
- In cases, this also applies to base companies even if the hired company has purchased the license.
- In research, it sounds like when photos used that infringe on copyright, they work to penalize that company or business.
- There is no clear-cut way to get around the issue once you receive a letter— image Copyright Infringement.
- Retain all contracts and purchases of
Below is a link to an article on mitigating E&O exposures from your web site.
The Big “I” E&O Guardian, “Just When You Thought Your Website Was Safe.” The report provides insights on the risks in the bullet points listed below, emphasizing keeping your digital presence safe and compliant on your blogs, social media, and primary website.
- Agency Website Exposures: Don’t Get Caught in The Web!
- Agency Risk Management Essentials: Is Your Website Doing More Harm Than Good?
- Prevention: Agency Procedures
- Website Tips: Smart Site Safety
- FAQ Regarding Website Compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Click the link below to access the article on mitigating E&O exposures from your web site.
Big “I” E&O Guardian, “Just When You Thought Your Website Was Safe.”