Shop Talk – Are You Violating Image Copyrights Online?

Have you ever seen an image on another blog post or in a Google search and wanted to use it for your own blog, newsletter, website, etc.?

Did you know that using images you find on the internet without prior permission and giving proper credit is copyright infringement? You’re not the only one, because every day business owners and companies just like yours receive notices and hefty fines from groups like Getty Images and even individual photographers.

Why is this such an issue? Unfortunately, most people don’t realize that an image or content doesn’t have to be marked as copyrighted in order to be protected.

Another big misconception? If you aren’t using it to sell something, it doesn’t fall under copyright. This one tends to sneak up on a lot of businesses with an online presence. Regardless of why you are using the image, it can still be covered under copyright.

Take a look at this week’s Shop Talk episode to find out everything you need to know on images and copyright in order to keep your postings and website on the up-and-up.

I also share my favorite image source Do you have one of your own? Please share in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Shop Talk – Are You Violating Image Copyrights Online?”

  1. Istockphoto is my ‘go to’ place while I also use Dreamstimes. Our graphic agency are also talented photographers and they have a wonderful selection of photos for our use.

    Thank you so much for the ‘Proof of Purchase’ reminder.

    Cheers, Brenda

  2. Hi Lisa,
    There are times when I’ve found google images I’d like to use and then I don’t know how to trace the image back to the creator.
    It showed up in google because it was in a blog or other post.
    Any tips on how to do the Sherlock Holmes act in these images?

  3. Excellent points Lisa. As a graphic designer, I deal with copyright all the time – both in making sure I am compliant in my work as well as ensuring my copyrighted designs are not used without permission. With the Internet being what it is, it can be a slippery slope.

    Another great site for images is Very competitive pricing and excellent image selection.

    You are spot on that it comes down to respect for how these people earn a living. A little respect goes a long way!

  4. Thank you for addressing this very important topic especially in an age of what appears on the surface as a “free-for-all” when it comes to image/photography use. My husband and I are professional photographers and contributing artists to Getty and Corbis Images and make our living creating and selling images. Believe me, we are on top of tracking our images online as are our agencies that represent our work. A follow-up topic on this subject would be the difference between Royalty-Free Images (as with iStockimages) or Rights-Managed Images (Licensed through many stock agencies including Getty Images and Corbis Images) If you are looking for Rights-Managed Images, iStock, although an amazing resource for Royalty-Free images would not be the appropriate source. In simple terms Royalty-Free images can be used by anyone who purchases them, so you may find you are using the same image for your blog,website, eZine or product that many others are using for their content at the same time. If you want exclusive use to an image that no one else can use for that purpose (book or cd cover, greeting cards, posters, branded collateral or educational materials, a main brand look for your website etc) you will want to consider Rights-Managed Images. RM images are more expensive, but you have the exclusive right to use that image to enhance your brand or product offering. Thank you for always keeping us well informed as we all work more and more in an on-line world~

  5. Thanks Lisa, this is a great post that affects a lot of photographers I know. We publish our photos online to promote our business and would happily allow the use of photos should we be paid for them to make a living.

  6. Thanks Lisa. On many occasions, I have been pleasantly surprised by how willing photographers are to allow the use of their photos for free (with proper acknowledgement), or for a very nominal fee (and proper acknowledgement). Believe it or not, I’ve also found some great images through MicroSoft clip art! The selection of clip art images seems to be growing all the time. I’ve found some really specific ones that have been perfect for my website, webinars, and workshops. I always check what’s available on clip art first before going elsewhere. Here’s what Microsoft allows. Works for me!:

    8. Additional terms for, MSN, and Bing
    8.1. and Office Web App media elements and templates. If you use Microsoft or the Microsoft Office Web Apps, you may have access to media images, clip art, animations, sounds, music, video clips, templates, and other forms of content (“media elements”) provided with the software available on or as part of services associated with the software. You may copy and use the media elements in projects and documents. You may not (i) sell, license, or distribute copies of the media elements by themselves or as a product if the primary value of the product is the media elements; (ii) grant your customers rights to further license or distribute the media elements; (iii) license or distribute for commercial purposes media elements that include the representation of identifiable individuals, governments, logos, trademarks, or emblems or use these types of images in ways that could imply an endorsement or association with your product, entity or activity; or (iv) create obscene works using the media elements. For more information, see the Use of Microsoft Copyrighted Content webpage (

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Lisa Larter Bio Image of Lisa x400

Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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