Copyright Infringement

One of our clients was recently landed with an invoice for over £1000 for infringement of copyright!

Read this article to ensure you don’t fall into the same trap.

The client in question took over a small business several years ago and continued using the old business website with just some cosmetic changes to the front end.

The website is a content managed site so all of the images and content are held in a database at the back end of the site. Each time a new image is uploaded to the database, a url is applied to it so that it can be retrieved quickly and displayed on the page with minimal loading time.

What the client wasn’t aware of is that an employee of the original company had downloaded some images from other websites with a view to using them on the company site. As it turned out one of the images belonged to a major stock image company and as such required permission to be used on any web sites. (Permission granted by paying a fee).

Although the image was not used on the front end of the site; because it was stored in the database and had a url applied to it, the company’s automatic bots that scrape the Internet looking for images used without permission discovered this image by following the url. The stock image company then demanded over £1000 for use of the image. The fact that the image was not used was immaterial, the image had been downloaded without permission and had a url attached to it so the fee was payable.

If you have images on your website – and let’s face it almost everyone does, it makes sense to check out whether they are being used without permission.

There is a free tool on Google to check your images and is very simple:

Just right click your image and in the pop up box, select Search Google for image. The results will display where the image can be found. If any of the results show that the image belongs to a stock image company and you haven’t bought it, now is the time to do so! Spending £10 or less now will potentially save you £1000 or more in the future!

Too busy to do it yourself? Contact us for a quote to ask us to do it for you.

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