Website Copyright Laws

Most images and photos are likely to be protected by copyright. That means anyone who uses them will probably need the permission of the copyright owner(s) if they want to copy the image, or put it on the web e.g. on your own website.

In other words, you can’t just nick a photo from Google and use it on your own site. Someone took that photo, and they own the copyright!

Moreover, there can be serious (and expensive) repercussions if you are found to be using someone’s image without permission, or don’t have an image licence. Getty Images is one image library who actively pursue copyright infringers, even if you plead ignorance, apologise, or find your Getty image licence has expired (Getty don’t seem to remind you!).

Getty has image recognition software that trawls the web looking for unauthorised use of their images, and they may write to you and demand compensation for the entire time the image has been used on your site. It’s no good just taking the image down and hoping the matter is closed, they will still pursue you!

The link, below, is from the government’s Intellectual Property Office and clarifies the position on use of such images or photos.


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