The increased distribution of digital cameras during the past 3-5 years has resulted in incredible changes in the use of photos. These changes can cause a significant financial risk for companies and individuals if the proper measures are not taken. Obviously làm bằng đại học, the number of images in circulation has multiplied and an abundant number of images can be accessed through websites like the Google Web Search.
This has brought about frequent copying of images off the Internet for using in news reports on websites like this one and others without obtaining the license from the copyrighted author. It is a common misunderstanding that images are free if they are found by using Google Search. Furthermore, the illusion that no one will make a fuss over a small picture found by Google Search is quite common. This is a profound misinterpretation. Here is a good example: A perfect photo for their intended use was found by an Icelandic company through Google Search on a website belonging to a ballet school in a small town in Norway. The staff contemplated: “What are the chances that someone associated with the ballet school will ever notice that we are using this image back in Iceland?”
Their conclusion was that certainly nobody would and thus the image was used. What they did not realise was that the ballet school had bought the image from Getty Images, which is the largest image agency in the world. Getty Images, as well as most other image agencies, are using a new technology which creates electronic fingerprints for images and the technology is used to scan websites on the Internet. Getty then gets a list of the images detected and compares it to the sales history of each image. The photo which was copied from the website of the Norwegian ballet school was found using this method, and a Getty agent was appointed to charge the concerned party with over one thousand dollars for having violated the copyright law and used the image without authorization.
In this case both parties agreed on a settlement presented by Getty Images. In addition, this was only about one image. In any case dozens and even hundreds of images can be detected on various websites e.g. in business news reports, months or even years back in time. Getty reserves the right to sue businesses for unauthorised usage of images for compensations up to USD 150.000 per image. This is clearly stated in the stipulations for each image on Getty Images’ website.
One mistake can thus become very expensive if the case is taken to and lost before a court of law. It seems appropriate to mention that before a court of law, the case is very simple. If the image agency is in possession of evidence which shows that the image has been used on the company’s website and if the company cannot show a license for using the image, their case is lost. Most image agencies in the world take advantage of fingerprint services like Getty Images and since almost all images on the Internet are copyright protected, in all likelihood it is only a question of time when an unauthorized image or images are detected.
What to do? It is very important for businesses to make a habit of using disciplinary methods in managing photos. The following items must be inspected for each image:
Usage license does not cover everything: Even though you have a licensed image, there are several other aspects to consider, e.g. the objects in the image itself. If there are people in sight, you need a license, you may need a license from the architects of buildings, artists of sculptures and you might find yourself in considerable trouble if a registered trade mark can be seen anywhere in the image.
Working procedures: Make certain that your company has precise working procedures for managing images. Every employee working with the images must be fully aware of what is allowed and what is not. It only takes one staff member to copy images off the Internet without the required licenses or publish an image lacking a model license etc. to harm the company to a great extent.