Clarifying Copyright – What It Means for Imagery
We know that the legalities associated with licensing images can be scary. It’s not an easy subject for anyone to completely comprehend. To help make it just a little easier for everyone to understand, we’ve turned to the guidance of our internal copyright and intellectual property experts (aka lawyers).
Below you’ll find some copyright and licensing tips they so kindly put together in regular, non-legal language. With these key tips in mind, it should make using professional images for your business a little less intimidating.
Whenever you use an image, it’s important to be smart about it. A copyright exists the moment an image is created by the photographer, and images are subject to copyright laws. If you want to use an image that you did not create, securing permission or a license is necessary. Don’t equate the Internet as “Public Domain” – just because it’s out there, it does not mean that it’s free for anyone to use.
By law, as the end-user of the image, you are ultimately legally responsible for insuring that you have obtained the appropriate rights to use the imagery. Because of this, you need to do your homework if anyone is designing communications for you or for your company. Be sure they are licensing imagery appropriately. Ask for copies of license paperwork.
Also, be sure you are using content from a trusted source. It’s good to remember that there are a number of providers that offer a broad range of imagery at affordable prices – licensing an image is easy and it’s worth the peace of mind.
If you DO receive a letter from us, here are six tips, please feel free to share these with your friends and designers:
We do have a dedicated Twitter account that helps with these specific kinds of issues. If you have a question, please find us @gettycopyright and we will try to help.