150,000 reasons NOT to use Google Images.

by VegasGreg 54 replies
I have seen in so many posts here and in ebooks/reports sold here (and everywhere) tips for finding images to use for your sites and ebooks.

The tip is to just do a Google Image search and use whatever images you want to use. Or to use their advanced image search and click the commercial use button.

I also see many "auto-blogging" software platforms that scrape Google images for automatic insertion of images to your blog.

Well, just so you know, DON'T DO IT!! Most of these images are protected under copyright and you do NOT have the legal right to use them. It doesn't matter if you click a search filter or not, it depends on where the images are and who they actually belong to. And they don't belong to Google.

Here is the latest article showing the amount of lawsuits filed from a recent photo floating around the internet.

New round of Righthaven suits over 'TSA pat-down' photo prompts surprise - Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 | 2 p.m. - Las Vegas Sun

Several quotes mention that the blog owners just did a quick search on Google Images and used the photo. Saying they do it all the time and have never had a problem.

Well, they are now being sued for $150,000.

So next time you need another image for your site, consider paying the $1 - $5 for a licensed copy instead of just scraping the web. If you use an 'auto-blogger' software that scrapes content and images for you, you may want to reconsider the settings.
#main internet marketing discussion forum #150 #google #images #reasons
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  • Profile picture of the author majidmaskat
    WOW that is terrifying, but isn't Google images a public innovation?
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    • Profile picture of the author sylviad
      Google is set to call up any and all images that fit the keyword description. It doesn't differentiate between public domain and copyright images unless you specify that in your search. You hear all the time of people who had their images "stolen" by web designers.

      If you have a photo on your site that fits the description, Google will list it along with the others it finds.

      Even public domain images are not guaranteed to be copyright free. You have to do your homework to be certain. That means tracking down who might hold the copyright and asking permission.

      This practice of just taking images wherever they are found is very common indeed. People see no problem with that, because they do not understand - what you find online is not a free-for-all.

      Thank you, Greg, for posting this. Maybe it will open some eyes, although it's not the first time this topic has been discussed here. If people are still not convinced, they can run a search for those other threads.

      Sylvia
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      • Profile picture of the author Rob D
        Interesting thought.

        Who is really liable? If Google provide the service whereby people find and steal these images...aren't google the bigger problem. After all Google may find and index one of my pictures on their site. Did I ask them too? Did Google ask me my permission to place my picture on THEIR site?
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        • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
          Originally Posted by Rob D View Post

          Interesting thought.

          Who is really liable? If Google provide the service whereby people find and steal these images...aren't google the bigger problem. After all Google may find and index one of my pictures on their site. Did I ask them too? Did Google ask me my permission to place my picture on THEIR site?
          Exactly, Rob. There have been sites sued that did not download an image, they merely called it up from the place where it resided on the web. Those people were sued not only for using the image, but also bandwidth theft, since the image was being pulled from the plaintiff's servers.

          Why is Google exempt? Is Google a for profit site? Yes. Are they benefiting from using other business' images? Yes. Do they pull the image from other people's servers? Yes. Why are they exempt?
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          • Profile picture of the author TipTop
            well get $150.000 sued is not a good choice
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          • Profile picture of the author pappyy3
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            Exactly, Rob. There have been sites sued that did not download an image, they merely called it up from the place where it resided on the web. Those people were sued not only for using the image, but also bandwidth theft, since the image was being pulled from the plaintiff's servers.

            Why is Google exempt? Is Google a for profit site? Yes. Are they benefiting from using other business' images? Yes. Do they pull the image from other people's servers? Yes. Why are they exempt?
            Google does state that the images may be subject to copyright.

            You do not have an automatic right to use images just because you found them on Google.
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            • Profile picture of the author E. Brian Rose
              Originally Posted by pappyy3 View Post

              Google does state that the images may be subject to copyright.

              You do not have an automatic right to use images just because you found them on Google.
              You quoted me and then responded with that? This is not related to what I was saying.
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              • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
                Getting sued for $150,000 and ending up having to pay it is another.

                Having said that, use images on google at your own risk. Whether the risk is worth it is up to the individual concerned.

                If in doubt spend a few $'s.
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            • Profile picture of the author 27coupons
              Originally Posted by pappyy3 View Post

              Google does state that the images may be subject to copyright.

              You do not have an automatic right to use images just because you found them on Google.
              yes agreed, another disadvantage of using another images with a link to their website is the image gets downloaded from their server increasing the usage limit of the original image holder. It is not only a violation of copy right but also leading to financial losses for the image owner in certain cases.
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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by E. Brian Rose View Post

            Exactly, Rob. There have been sites sued that did not download an image, they merely called it up from the place where it resided on the web. Those people were sued not only for using the image, but also bandwidth theft, since the image was being pulled from the plaintiff's servers.

            Why is Google exempt? Is Google a for profit site? Yes. Are they benefiting from using other business' images? Yes. Do they pull the image from other people's servers? Yes. Why are they exempt?
            Exact a mundo
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            • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
              Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

              Exact a mundo
              Not exact a mundo. I haven't seen problems from that. Rather, the courts have said there is no liability.

              Hotlinking is a computer instruction so a web browser requests display of an image on a server, and then the server gives permission. It doesn't have to.

              Since the image is never copied, transmitted through their website, or shown by the "hotlinker," most of the common claims for copyright infringement just evaporated.

              There's a lot of generalization on this thread without specific analysis of technology and actual copyright law - which is the answer to the questions about how Google has been able to do this.

              .
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              • Profile picture of the author malcsimm
                DON'T STEAL IMAGES.

                I had a hosting account taken offline because of this - 5 web sites. An outsourcer just grabbed some Google images. The host HAS to take you offline by law if they get a certain legal letter.

                Don't risk it.

                The best deal currently:

                (THIS IS JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME, AND EVERYONE ON WARRIOR, OK???)

                http://depostiphotos.com

                Sign up, give a PP address, for a 7 days trial and download 5 fantastic photos every day, very high quality for 5 days. A huge choice.

                At this time, consider whether you will continue with the trial and pay the membership on day 7, or simply cancel (on day 5, just in case, I suggest) and it has cost you nothing - and you have 25 top quality photos with copyright.

                You cannot repeat this with the same PP address.

                If you are short of cash, this can do you a favour and keep you legal.

                Remember - this is just between us

                Malc
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                • Profile picture of the author azmanar
                  Originally Posted by malcsimm View Post

                  The best deal currently:

                  (THIS IS JUST BETWEEN YOU AND ME, AND EVERYONE ON WARRIOR, OK???)

                  http://depostiphotos.com

                  Malc
                  Let me correct the URL => www.depositphotos.com

                  The daily quota pricing system is good for very patient project developers, probably doing their own projects. The price is great.

                  For busy project developers who have short deadlines and clients waiting, pay-per-image would be a better choice.
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        • Profile picture of the author tj
          Originally Posted by Rob D View Post

          Interesting thought.

          Who is really liable? If Google provide the service whereby people find and steal these images...aren't google the bigger problem. After all Google may find and index one of my pictures on their site. Did I ask them too? Did Google ask me my permission to place my picture on THEIR site?
          The one who is violating the right of the copyright holder in putting the image on their website. Simple as that.

          Timo
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          • Profile picture of the author Rob D
            The one who is violating the right of the copyright holder in putting the image on their website. Simple as that.

            Timo
            Correct. ANd the image is on google images. So anyone violating the copyright is only following googles lead.
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            • Profile picture of the author Kay King
              "In reality, this company called 'Righthaven' buys the rights to photos, and then sues everyone in the universe for using them. Unfortunately, in this day and age, these (with) too much time on their hands, too much money on their hands, corporate (expletive) can actually get away with this. Unbelievable.
              It's a business model - same is being done with music rights, too, isn't it? If the suits are successful financially, this kind of activity will spread. Many blogs and sites re-publish current news photos - may want to think twice about it these days.

              The goal isn't protecting anyone's "rights" - it's all about the money.

              Pretty ingenious when you think about it.

              kay
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        • Profile picture of the author JCTorpey
          I may be mistaken, but I think Google isn't liable for the same reason ISPs aren't liable, and they offer advanced search for copyright licenses anyway. For those who steal images off Google without a care for copyright, they shouldn't be surprised they get into trouble.

          While its true that Google doesn't ask permission to find and index the pictures on any given site, the images certainly don't have to stay there.

          IF any given webmaster doesn't want an image or any other search result to appear in any Google results, all you have to do is follow these instructions: Remove an image from Google search results - Webmaster Tools Help

          and Completely remove an entire page - Webmaster Tools Help

          and Google will remove the image, or whatever other search result you want them to remove.

          The bigger problem is, I think, with images being a part of well-rounded SEO, they bring lots of sites lots of traffic and boost rankings. With that in mind, I bet you that if Google were to remove image search, or restrict it in any way, the resulting traffic to the images (or pages or what have you) would disappear completely in most cases, and that alone would have thousands of SEOs complaining, crying bloody murder to get the images back.

          People complain on both sides of the issue, but we simply cannot have it both ways. IMO, dealing with copyright issues is much better than losing traffic.


          Originally Posted by Rob D View Post

          Interesting thought.

          Who is really liable? If Google provide the service whereby people find and steal these images...aren't google the bigger problem. After all Google may find and index one of my pictures on their site. Did I ask them too? Did Google ask me my permission to place my picture on THEIR site?
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    • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
      Originally Posted by majidmaskat View Post

      WOW that is terrifying, but isn't Google images a public innovation?
      What do you mean by public innovation?
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by majidmaskat View Post

      WOW that is terrifying, but isn't Google images a public innovation?
      no, you see most people do not know how to protect their image directory on their webserver...

      and there are a couple of ways to do that so your copyrighted images do not end up on Google images:

      1) put a blank index.html file in your images directory
      2) create a robots.txt file in notepad and add this:
      User-agent: *
      Disallow: /images/
      Upload the robot.tx file and place it in your web server's root directory


      the first ones blocks anyone from browsing your images directory. The second one blocks any bots from indexing your images
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  • Profile picture of the author JackPowers
    Well yeah, I would wager that a lot of people have been guilty of this at some point. Some people also consider hotlinking stealing (I don't).

    I buy most my images from Istockphoto and while it does add an extra $20 or so for the initial website, the images look ten times better than those you would find in Google Images. Not to mention that you can literally find a professional grade photo of ANYTHING you need. The rest of my images I get from Wikimedia Commons or Flickr and use their attribution system.
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    • Profile picture of the author DawnMarie
      Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

      I buy most my images from Istockphoto...
      Just wondering what other photo sites Warrior members recommend? There are so many... which are the best/easiest to work with/least expensive?

      Thanks in advance!
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      • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
        I am pretty sure that it says right on the search result page on Google that the original image may be subject to copyright.

        Morgue Files is pretty good.

        But it is truly easier to license an image.
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        • Profile picture of the author entry
          150,000 reasons?

          isnt this just 1 reason, with $150,000 in the statement ? :confused:
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan C. Rinnert
      Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

      Some people also consider hotlinking stealing (I don't).
      You might change your mind about that if you ever find yourself paying additional fees for excessive bandwidth because some "bandwidth thieves" decided to hotlink images from your website.
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      • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
        Originally Posted by Jack Duncan View Post

        clarajones10,
        You can actually find commercially free reusable images now...

        Under advanced image search, select only images that allow commercial reuse.





        All the best,
        Jack Duncan

        P.S. It's still a good idea to follow the image all the way to the source and check specific licensing on the page though. It's not a perfect solution.
        Jack, that is part of the BAD advice that (innocently?) gets passed around. Even if you select that search option, it still returns images that can NOT be used freely.

        I have seen webinars and reports show that exact method as if it was a secret way to find free to use pictures, but when you actually get to the images, most of them are not available to use freely.



        Originally Posted by Andyhenry View Post

        REALLY?

        I've never seen anyone saying that and I can't imagine anyone with 1/2 a brain would even think that let alone tell others to do it.

        Isn't it OBVIOUS that you can't just steal other peoples images for your own business?

        I'll take your word for it that there are people who do/say this but since it's so obviously wrong and I haven't actually seen anyone say to do it I'm hoping that there aren't many members here that would follow that sort of advice.

        Andy
        You would think this is obvious, but the information does get passed around. Sometimes innocently (honest misunderstanding), and sometimes because they are just clueless. But the law doesn't excuse those who are in violation simply because they didn't know. (Read some of the other posts here already passing on the bad advice )

        Originally Posted by Landon Walsh View Post

        Flickr - Creative Commons....


        Duh..!

        Furthermore, this will never hold up in court.
        I have seen people sued for using Flickr Creative Commons images too. Anyone can upload any picture there even if it isn't their own.
        So be careful with that too. And "Duh" wouldn't help you in the courtroom.

        Originally Posted by tj View Post

        Everybody can upload a copyright protected image to Flickr - Creative Commons and ... you'll be next. As long as you do not / cannot check where the image comes from - DO NOT USE it!

        Timo
        Exactly.
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      Originally Posted by JackPowers View Post

      Some people also consider hotlinking stealing (I don't).
      it is indeed stealing! and it is why you can set up hotlink protection on webservers via cpanel

      hotlinking is stealing bandwidth. Period!
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      • Profile picture of the author frogman
        The old double standard.
        Google grabs whatever images it wants from anyones website for its own monetary gain, but if I do that I get sued.

        I avoid those images like the plague.

        Not worth it.

        Not gonna do it...
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        • Profile picture of the author AnitaCross
          As a photographer with images for sale online, Google Images has brought me both traffic and the occasional sale. The cut-rate image sites have all but put my stock photo site into the dung heap. But I can't blame Google for that...

          As a web professional, I use Google Images to locate images faster than I could going straight to the image sites. My avatar is a derivative work of an image I found using Google Images. The original image I found was at ShutterStock. To purchase, I would have had to buy a minimum package of 5 downloads for $49. With Google's help, I was able to find the same image at Fotolia, with a minimum buy of 10 credits ($12). I purchased the vector version for 4 credits. And then modified the heck out of it to create the image I needed for a new site. (Thanks, big G.)

          Google does not warn that images may be protected by copyright on the search results page. However, if you click on an image, the resulting page has an overlay of the image with a sidebar showing image information, including the statement "This image may be subject to copyright"



          At least, it does in Firefox.

          I'm sure that Google Images brings in enough buyers to make it worthwhile for sites like ShutterStock and Fotolia to allow Google to display their images in search. The important thing for you as a web professional is to recognize that all images have a copyright, and you must obtain permission from the copyright holder to use that image, where ever you find it.

          Also, I have code in my htaccess file that prevents hot linking from most sites. I'll be happy to share. Just ask.

          -Anita
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  • Profile picture of the author ArticlePrince
    The point of Google images is to SEE images, not to use them. Either pay for stock images, or (even better!) just make your own.
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  • Definitely not worth it, especially with istock photos starting at only a buck!
    Originally Posted by VegasGreg View Post

    I have seen in so many posts here and in ebooks/reports sold here (and everywhere) tips for finding images to use for your sites and ebooks.

    The tip is to just do a Google Image search and use whatever images you want to use. Or to use their advanced image search and click the commercial use button.

    I also see many "auto-blogging" software platforms that scrape Google images for automatic insertion of images to your blog.

    Well, just so you know, DON'T DO IT!! Most of these images are protected under copyright and you do NOT have the legal right to use them. It doesn't matter if you click a search filter or not, it depends on where the images are and who they actually belong to. And they don't belong to Google.

    Here is the latest article showing the amount of lawsuits filed from a recent photo floating around the internet.

    New round of Righthaven suits over 'TSA pat-down' photo prompts surprise - Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 | 2 p.m. - Las Vegas Sun

    Several quotes mention that the blog owners just did a quick search on Google Images and used the photo. Saying they do it all the time and have never had a problem.

    Well, they are now being sued for $150,000.

    So next time you need another image for your site, consider paying the $1 - $5 for a licensed copy instead of just scraping the web. If you use an 'auto-blogger' software that scrapes content and images for you, you may want to reconsider the settings.
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  • Profile picture of the author JunTeh
    I was worried about using pictures from google images, thanks for clarifying that!
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  • Profile picture of the author A P Geofrey
    Wow!! that is a lot of fine, I don't want to be in that position ever. And I hope I don't get there. Well thanks for sharing that piece of information. It was worth the the frightening effect.

    Now I am afraid.
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  • Profile picture of the author jmorris18
    Wow , some great information to think about before using images for Google News etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author paul wolfe
      Originally Posted by jmorris18 View Post

      Wow , some great information to think about before using images for Google News etc.
      There's a thread on here about Getty Images suing people as well over copyright issues to photos. It's something to be careful about for sure.

      If you seriously want free images then make sure you add 'creative commons' to the search string - AND READ THE COPYRIGHT CONDITIONS. Some images available with creative commons are freely available - some you have to credit the photographer. Some you have to email and ask the photographer.

      In most countries IGNORANCE is no defence in the eyes of the law.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
    Why is Google exempt? Is Google a for profit site? Yes. Are they benefiting from using other business' images? Yes. Do they pull the image from other people's servers? Yes. Why are they exempt?
    They are certainly not exempt...they just have the 150K+++++ to hire better attorneys and drain the plaintiff dry.

    See this: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...086087404.html
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  • Profile picture of the author clarajones10
    Its really a good thing, every one to get copy rights on images they are using, but some times we couldn't find who is the correct person, so my suggestion is Google images can alert us saying, copyrighted image contact webmaster, when we like to copy the pictures.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Duncan
    clarajones10,
    You can actually find commercially free reusable images now...

    Under advanced image search, select only images that allow commercial reuse.





    All the best,
    Jack Duncan

    P.S. It's still a good idea to follow the image all the way to the source and check specific licensing on the page though. It's not a perfect solution.
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  • Profile picture of the author noname987
    Really? I don't think google could do that but im wondering now. Afraid to use their images again. Glad to have read this info.Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andyhenry
    Originally Posted by VegasGreg View Post

    I have seen in so many posts here and in ebooks/reports sold here to just do a Google Image search and use whatever images you want to use. Or to use their advanced image search and click the commercial use button.
    REALLY?

    I've never seen anyone saying that and I can't imagine anyone with 1/2 a brain would even think that let alone tell others to do it.

    Isn't it OBVIOUS that you can't just steal other peoples images for your own business?

    I'll take your word for it that there are people who do/say this but since it's so obviously wrong and I haven't actually seen anyone say to do it I'm hoping that there aren't many members here that would follow that sort of advice.

    Andy
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    nothing to see here.

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  • Profile picture of the author Landon Walsh
    Flickr - Creative Commons....


    Duh..!

    Furthermore, this will never hold up in court.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSubmit
    "I'm retired, live on about $12,000 a year (Social Security), own next to nothing and the site generates about $60 a month from the ads. So they can sue me all they want. If my site gets any publicity out of this, it can only be good for traffic,"
    Nice excerpt from the OP's link. Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas should have asked the blog and site webmasters to remove the image or else place a credit link at the bottom. This is a lame thing to do.
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    • Profile picture of the author thunderseo
      great post! thanks! This was indeed very helpful.. It occurred to me before but it's great having it cleared now.
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      • Profile picture of the author hodari
        It's a good article. To me though that is the exception and not the rule. That is like throwing up the article about someone being sued for downloading music. I did happen. Ok, meanwhile millions upon millions are still downloading.

        We all have looked at images that had copyright info and moved on. And some have still used it anyway. The thing here is that we are "aware" of how it works. Easily finding images for our uses. And I think we are giving the overwhelming masses too much credit in knowing somethings that we here take for granted.

        We certainly don't give them credit for knowing anything about SEO and marketing do we ?! Check out how many people are selling wso's about and trying to do "offline" marketing ! But I digress.

        If I want to use images I go to sxc.hu for free images or use some creative commons images.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fazal Mayar
    Thats a good remark, I do have a lot of pics on my site coming from google searches.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeoWizzard
    Good to know, but there are far too many people using google images, including myself. Didn't have a complaint so far (except one forum avatar, bot no lawsuits whatsoever)
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  • Profile picture of the author ReportKing
    Banned
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author VegasGreg
      Originally Posted by ReportKing View Post


      However, if you read down into the article you posted, you''ll also see that experts don't think the outcome of the lawsuit will be against the blogger since the photo hit google and "went viral" and that the user had no idea it originated from the Denver newspaper.

      They also say this could open the door for thousands of copyright infringement lawsuits of usnsuspecting bloggers who had no malicious intent.

      We'll see. Either way, I think I'll back off Google images for now. Thanks for this.
      This particular image has gone "viral" beyond most images out there, so that "could" have an impact on this particular outcome. However 99% of all the other images on Google Images are not considered "viral".

      These lawsuits are popping up a lot more, not just with images but content/article theft as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mikey D
    Here is yet another reason:

    Law Firm Finds Success Targeting Those Who Post Copyrighted Images

    Law Firm Finds Success Targeting Those Who Post Copyrighted Images - Techland - TIME.com
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  • Profile picture of the author azmanar
    Hi Greg,

    Nice topic. Love it.

    All these years, I tried very hard to not use copyrighted material and software unless I bought rights to use them. This is due to my respect to copyright owners.

    So for video, sound, images and graphics, I would get professionals to do them or buy royalty-free from stock companies.

    In the process, I saw some stock companies manipulate prices, wildly. The same photo which cost about $5 on one stock company may cost $50 on popular stock companies. Some even cost $300 for what can be bought for $30 elsewhere.

    My advice to Warrior Friends regarding this matter. Do not listen to some herd mentality mantra that kept chanting certain stock companies. You will lose a lot if you do.

    The wise thing to do is review at least 10 stock companies for the same sort of images. And then decide which ones are cost-effective for you. The next time, it'll be much easier.
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  • 1. You can sue for anything. Just because you sue doesn't mean you'll be paid. Sounds like the company doing the suing is just trying to raise it's profile (free publicity for such an outrageous suit), so that they get more business. You need to remember, things aren't always as they seem. They aren't necessarily "suing" to "protect" their image copyright. More likely its to either raise their profile -- or raise the profile of the two newspapers (through free publicity) to see what all the fuss is about. Apparently, so far, it's been quite effective.

    2. There is also something called "fair use". Since the image went viral, and it has been 'credited' to the original poster, plus the outrageous amount being requested, unlikely they would collect on that. Plus, you'd also have to collect the judgement IF that went through -- and in the case of one blogger, he is living on SS, so that would take 15 years for him to pay...

    Originally Posted by VegasGreg View Post

    I have seen in so many posts here and in ebooks/reports sold here (and everywhere) tips for finding images to use for your sites and ebooks.

    The tip is to just do a Google Image search and use whatever images you want to use. Or to use their advanced image search and click the commercial use button.

    I also see many "auto-blogging" software platforms that scrape Google images for automatic insertion of images to your blog.

    Well, just so you know, DON'T DO IT!! Most of these images are protected under copyright and you do NOT have the legal right to use them. It doesn't matter if you click a search filter or not, it depends on where the images are and who they actually belong to. And they don't belong to Google.

    Here is the latest article showing the amount of lawsuits filed from a recent photo floating around the internet.

    New round of Righthaven suits over 'TSA pat-down' photo prompts surprise - Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011 | 2 p.m. - Las Vegas Sun

    Several quotes mention that the blog owners just did a quick search on Google Images and used the photo. Saying they do it all the time and have never had a problem.

    Well, they are now being sued for $150,000.

    So next time you need another image for your site, consider paying the $1 - $5 for a licensed copy instead of just scraping the web. If you use an 'auto-blogger' software that scrapes content and images for you, you may want to reconsider the settings.
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    • Profile picture of the author jacktackett
      Originally Posted by InternetSuccess001 View Post

      1. You can sue for anything. Just because you sue doesn't mean you'll be paid. Sounds like the company doing the suing is just trying to raise it's profile (free publicity for such an outrageous suit), so that they get more business. You need to remember, things aren't always as they seem. They aren't necessarily "suing" to "protect" their image copyright. More likely its to either raise their profile -- or raise the profile of the two newspapers (through free publicity) to see what all the fuss is about. Apparently, so far, it's been quite effective.
      While True - and with the caveat that IANAL - suing for 150K requires that the plaintiff registered their work. Otherwise you have to prove damages. Which is why I highly suggest to folks to spend the $35 bucks and register their copyright.

      2. There is also something called "fair use". Since the image went viral, and it has been 'credited' to the original poster, plus the outrageous amount being requested, unlikely they would collect on that. Plus, you'd also have to collect the judgement IF that went through -- and in the case of one blogger, he is living on SS, so that would take 15 years for him to pay...
      Be careful - you can not declare something is 'fair use' or 'fair dealing'. Surprisingly in the US the copyright holder can not decide either - only a sitting judge can do that. There are guidelines, but if either party disagrees they can take you to court.

      Its just safer - and easier - to get a license to use an image.

      best,
      --Jack
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    Google images allows me to find the images I want to buy. I do the search with what I want and invariably find a link to iStockphoto or other provider. Since I have accounts with all of them, I just buy the one with the lowest price. Ripping off images from other people's websites is just not cool. That lawsuit also reminds me of another company many years ago that bought an obscure pc hardware video patent and sent huge legal binders to anyone putting pcs together saying that they had better pay $5,000 in licensing fees or cease and desist putting pcs together. I wonder how many people paid them. It's fishing for $$$.
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  • Profile picture of the author JaynKeth
    I think you can use any pictures online, but do put a link to refer back to the original site where you get the pictures. Having a link back to the site, you are giving back the credit. but if you are not ready to do this, make sure you do not take others pictures. Simply type in royalty free photo. I have a few sites, sxc.hu or google microsoft image. They have some free pictures. Otherwise, pay for the stockphoto so you don't infringe anyone's right.
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  • Profile picture of the author maestro_mr
    I think there is a "labelled for commercial re-use" in Google search images.
    Any way it is indeed very helpful information.

    Thanks by the way.
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