Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog
Click the link above for an awesome article written by Roni Loren on the topic of being sued for using photos you don’t own on your blog. Although most of my readership are photographers, the article was written for writers, bloggers in general, and anyone who’s using photography to enhance the otherwise static content on their blog.
I’ll admit that many of the images appearing on my blog don’t belong to me. I’m not the copyright owner, and – in most cases – I don’t have express written permission from the copyright owner to use them.
From time to time, I do search for the illegal use of my images, and I have – on several occasions – sued businesses and corporations for said illegal use. However, I’ve never sued an individual for illegally using my photo(s); that’s not to say that I wouldn’t, it’s just such a case hasn’t arisen at the time of writing this article.
You might say ‘Well, that’s hypocritical’. I don’t believe it is. From a legal argument, you could correctly assume ‘Any and everyone using photography on the internet has a level of expectation equal to that of corporations wherein expressed written permission for the use of said photograph must first be secured from the copyright holder.’ However, I think the moral argument is completely the opposite. Morally, I would be lest inclined to financially pursue a Mom-and-Pop business run by someone like my parents – who are less than familiar with copyright law – than I would a corporation who, in some way, is financially benefitting from the commercial (or private) use of my photograph(s).
In my opinion (and it is my opinion, after all), I’m far less interested in suing someone like a teenager just sharing one of my images on their personal blog because they believe it accurately portray’s the visual imagery they’re searching for than I am a corporation who, regardless of intent, lifted and placed one of my photos on their website, without permission, for financial gain.
What are your thoughts? Have you ever caught anyone using your images without permission? Leave your comments in the section below.