This week many news organizations and blogs wrote about the racial situation on the Mizzou campus. A friend posted one story in particular on her Facebook page and I noticed that the article was using one of my photographs. I did a quick search and discovered that several websites were using the image WITHOUT PERMISSION. My logo was on there. Did they bother to check with me about using it? Nope.
I messaged them to remove the photo. I also sent out invoices for usage of the photograph. They are fighting me about paying the invoices because they believe that they removed the photograph and suddenly the situation goes away. Meanwhile, my image has been circulated without credit or compensation countless numbers of times.
One company said an intern did it. Another said an assistant found it on Pinterest and that since it was in the public domain that they thought it was ok to use it. Are you kidding me? Just because you find something via Google or Pinterest does NOT give you license to use it.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself before using an image on your blog or website:
- Did I take this photo? If the answer is no, then you should not use it.
- If I didn’t take it, do I need to get permission from the person who did? Yes.
- Did I purchase it from a stock photo site? Then the answer would be yes.
Simple questions. Easy answers.
And unless you contact me about using one of my photographs, the answer is always NO and I will fight you in court if you do.
Stop stealing. Stop blaming the assistant or intern. Own your mess and pay the photographer for your violation.