Just because it’s ‘On the internet’ does NOT mean it’s free and you can do whatever you want with it!

For a few years now, things on the internet have been a little ‘Wild West’ but trust me, that’s about to change!

The internet, a bit like the Wild West?

I really don’t want to get into a HUGE and in-depth discussion about copyright law, because I am NOT a solicitor and I only have the briefest of understanding of this rather complex set of legal rules.

Basically, everything belongs to somebody, right? That includes pictures taken by both professional and non-professional photographers.

Now there are some who see this as malicious (usually the people being sued) but imagine if you produced some work that belonged to you and other people were then using that to make money without passing you a penny.

Unfair right?

Well, that’s how photographers and videographers feel about people using their images on blogs, stores and other sites.

Now you may be thinking that you might get an email with a gentle ‘cease and desist’ notice, or possibly just a ‘Hey, that image belongs to me!’ email.

In the last 6 months or so, this has changed though.

Consider it the new PPI scheme. There are companies going after users of a single image for tens of thousands of pounds. In fact, they start by asking for hundreds of thousands of pounds.

These companies act on behalf of photographers/videographers and take a percentage of the final settlement.

Don’t believe me? Just check out this video by internet marketer / guru  Dan Dasilva, who tells how he was recently sued for using an image he found on Google on his Shopify store.

The amount that was finally settled on? A cool $27,000, plus $10,000 of legal fees. For using one image that didn’t belong to him.

If you’re a photographer then every image you ever take is yours, under copyright law.

So has that got you wondering about all the images on your personal blog?

Don’t panic though, there are some awesome free content libraries that will let you use their pics without fear of getting sued!

I wrote a little piece on this, the best free stock image sites of 2020. Please bear in mind each site has its own rules and regulations too, so please follow them!

While this may not be as simple and may mean you have to make do with an O.K image, rather than a great image, trust me it’s worth it in the long run!

Of course, the best course of action for the LONG run is for you to start your OWN bank of images.

You need to be starting on your OWN brand and your images should all be a part of that brand.

If you need help with your photography and video, please get in touch: Pete@pkcreative.co.uk

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