Can affiliates use Product Pictures from merchant site without getting Sued?

41 replies
Has anyone had problems (legal problems or take down notices), when using product pictures of a product he is promoting through affiliate program. The pictures in question will be hosted on my site.

I could hotlink these images from merchant site, but this doesn't look for seo, especially because i need around 987 images per affiliate site.

The question is related to amazon affiliate as well as other affiliate programs. In their affiliate programs terms it says you can only use pictures from account manager, but these pictures are to small. And I guess they wouldn't allow hosting pictures on my site.

So my question is can i get sued because of using product pictures to promote these product?

I know i break copyright (as everyone else) but it doesn't make much sense, as most product owners want their product to be sold as much much as possible, and I as an affiliate am helping them to do so.
#affiliates #merchant #pictures #product #site #sued
  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    No answer?
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

    In their affiliate programs terms it says you can only use pictures from account manager
    The terms of your affiliate program are a legally binding contract. Forget whether you can get sued. If you violate this contract, they do not have to pay you.

    Personally, if I ran an affiliate program and you violated the terms such that I didn't have to pay you, I wouldn't even say anything. I'd just sit there collecting money from the free traffic you sent me, and let you keep doing it as long as possible.
    Signature
    "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    But they pay every month, so if they lets say discover i self-hosted their product pictures 10 months later , could they ask me to return paid commission?

    Actually as far as i can see everyone is using product pictures, because this simpy doesn't make sense for affiliates not having right to use them. You need a picture of a product in order to promote it.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

      But...
      This means you have already decided you are going to do it anyway.

      People who actually want the answer to a question do not argue with the answers they get.
      Signature
      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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      • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
        Originally Posted by mosthost View Post

        Check with them first, before running afoul of their rules.
        Originally Posted by Val Wilson View Post

        It does depend on the merchant, and many will allow you to use their images - but it would be silly to risk your affiliate account. Ask for permission before you publish their pictures.
        Actually i have used this specific affiliate program for a year, i always hosted pictures myself, and i never had any problem. But now i have read the TOS, but yet i saw many affiliates host these images myself. I guess nobody reads TOS of any affiliate program. It is too boring.

        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

        This means you have already decided you are going to do it anyway.

        People who actually want the answer to a question do not argue with the answers they get.
        No i haven't .. this is why i ask. actually question is can i get sued for that.

        The only reason to do that would be SEO. Do hot-linked images hurt seo?
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        • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
          Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

          actually question is can i get sued for that
          Don't ask for legal advice on the internet. Get a lawyer.
          Signature
          "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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          • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
            Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

            Don't ask for legal advice on the internet. Get a lawyer.
            Lawyer for internet problems cost a fortune. If i had that kind of money i would simply buy all these pictures.

            Also most IMs are doing the same things . so there is no need to separate legal advice for each one of us.
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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

              Lawyer for internet problems cost a fortune. If i had that kind of money i would simply buy all these pictures.

              Also most IMs are doing the same things . so there is no need to separate legal advice for each one of us.
              The bad legal advice you can take from people on this forum will cost you an even bigger fortune.

              I'm no attorney but I've seen advice on here that I know would get you in hot water.
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              • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                The bad legal advice you can take from people on this forum will cost you an even bigger fortune.

                I'm no attorney but I've seen advice on here that I know would get you in hot water.
                I guess what people are doing here is legal. Also how can you be sure. lawers advice is legally ok?

                The question i ask is the most common question even in internet marketing.

                You need content and pictures. That is all.
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                • Profile picture of the author Magento modules
                  On internet always get a same problem Legel and illegel and it's not so good when ever you use any image a company Sue you on this when you use other content of website a Google give a very nice and beautiful gift in a Slap form, lol so best is use your own every thing like images, Content you are safe on internet..
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                  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
                    Originally Posted by Magento modules View Post

                    On internet always get a same problem Legel and illegel and it's not so good when ever you use any image a company Sue you on this when you use other content of website a Google give a very nice and beautiful gift in a Slap form, lol so best is use your own every thing like images, Content you are safe on internet..
                    It is the best to have my own images, but then i would need to buy 1000 products for like $200 000 and shot all these pictures myself.
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                • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                  Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

                  I guess what people are doing here is legal. Also how can you be sure. lawers advice is legally ok?

                  The question i ask is the most common question even in internet marketing.

                  You need content and pictures. That is all.
                  Well I'd say most Internet marketers are probably at risk with many things theyre doing and they don't even know it.

                  So I wouldn't base your tactics on what most IMers are doing.
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                • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
                  Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

                  Also how can you be sure. lawers advice is legally ok?
                  Hire a second lawyer to review the advice of your first lawyer.

                  .
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            • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
              Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

              Also most IMs are doing the same things . so there is no need to separate legal advice for each one of us.
              You have a legally binding contract with your affiliate network that says you can only use the pictures they give you.

              That means NO, YOU CAN NOT USE OTHER PICTURES.

              If you want to know whether they can sue you for using other pictures, get a lawyer. Nobody here can answer that.
              Signature
              "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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              • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
                Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

                It sure sounds to me like your trying to get someone to make you feel good about the choices you have already made.
                Why woulsd i care for feeling good. Get paid is the most important thing
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                • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
                  Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

                  You are 100% sure there are no lawyers on this forum here?
                  You're not paying attention. You are not going to get legal advice on the forum.

                  Given the nature of your questions and arguing with posts by others, you are not going to get much in specifics from members, me, or probably any of the other lawyers.

                  .
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                  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
                    Update: I just noticed you are an attorney. You are charging $997 for a site review.

                    Do your affiliate sites have no pictures, or you just hotlink pictures from merchant sites?

                    I checked around 10 affiliates using the same merchant and everyone is using pictures in incorrect way.. How can i compete with them, if i use non seo friendly images?

                    An example site from a reputable member from here: Stainless Steel Cookware: We Found the BEST Stainless Cookware Set
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                    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
                      Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

                      I checked around 10 affiliates using the same merchant and everyone is using pictures in incorrect way
                      We've already told you to follow the program terms, and to talk to a lawyer about what will happen if you break them. If you don't care what we say, go do whatever the hell you want and leave us alone.
                      Signature
                      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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                      • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
                        Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                        We've already told you to follow the program terms, and to talk to a lawyer about what will happen if you break them. If you don't care what we say, go do whatever the hell you want and leave us alone.
                        CD,

                        My thoughts exactly.

                        Ken
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              • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

                You have a legally binding contract with your affiliate network that says you can only use the pictures they give you.

                That means NO, YOU CAN NOT USE OTHER PICTURES.
                What other pictures?
                You are assuming a lot here.
                As far as i know everyone is using amazon pictures, to promote amazon products.


                Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post


                If you want to know whether they can sue you for using other pictures, get a lawyer. Nobody here can answer that.
                You are 100% sure there are no lawyers on this forum here?
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        • Profile picture of the author onSubie
          Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

          The only reason to do that would be SEO. Do hot-linked images hurt seo?
          No, remote hosted images do not hurt SEO. You are simply specifying an external source in the img src code. The image can still have the added ALT tags you want.

          <img src="remote url" alt="my SEO Terms">

          Mahlon
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  • Profile picture of the author sammib01
    They put it in the terms, if not I would ask before I do use them. All you have to do is ask and let them know where and why you are using the pics. usually there is not problem... look at Amazon you can use their Pics.
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  • Profile picture of the author mosthost
    Check with them first, before running afoul of their rules.
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  • Profile picture of the author Val Wilson
    It does depend on the merchant, and many will allow you to use their images - but it would be silly to risk your affiliate account. Ask for permission before you publish their pictures.
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    Don't you think it is normal to use a picture of a product, when promoting that product, when picture is taken by the company that earns money from your promotional activities?

    Anyway, is there place where i can buy product pictures?
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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

      Don't you think it is normal to use a picture of a product, when promoting that product?
      I think that I've seen far too many internet marketers sued over using images that they've grabbed from other websites.

      There are literally lawyers out there who go buy rights to images so they can sue people who are illegally using them, so I've heard.

      If you want to risk losing thousands of dollars because you're using someone else's images, then that's entirely up to you.

      You want me to make you feel good about using images you grab from other sites... I can't do that.

      I don't really know how to be more clear than that.

      Either take the calculated risk, go talk to an attorney, or don't use the images at all.

      Your call.
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      • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
        Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

        I think that I've seen far too many internet marketers sued over using images that they've grabbed from other websites.

        There are literally lawyers out there who go buy rights to images so they can sue people who are illegally using them, so I've heard.

        If you want to risk losing thousands of dollars because you're using someone else's images, then that's entirely up to you.

        You want me to make you feel good about using images you grab from other sites... I can't do that.

        I don't really know how to be more clear than that.

        Either take the calculated risk, go talk to an attorney, or don't use the images at all.

        Your call.
        You think i ask if i can steal pictures from other people websites. But you are wrong. That is obviously copyright violation,

        I ask if i can use pictures from affiliate partners such as amazon. This is totally different.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

          You think i ask if i can steal pictures from other people websites. But you are wrong. That is obviously copyright violation,

          I ask if i can use pictures from affiliate partners such as amazon. This is totally different.
          You can use the pictures Amazon says you can use, if you are promoting through the Associates Program.

          Another source for product pictures is that actual manufacturer. Go to the corporate site and look for a TOS and scan for a paragraph that covers image use. If that doesn't work, look for a link to "media relations" or something similar.

          Tell them you are working on a piece about Product X, and ask if they have any photos available for use in the piece. Some manufacturers even keep galleries of photos for use in reviews/articles.
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        • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
          Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post


          I ask if i can use pictures from affiliate partners such as amazon. This is totally different.
          And I'm telling you... ask a lawyer.

          You can do a 30 min phone consultation with internet marketing attorney Mike Young for about $300 (last I checked).

          Nobody here has your answer.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    It sure sounds to me like your trying to get someone to make you feel good about the choices you have already made. And:

    IT AINT GOING TO HAPPEN!

    You and no one else are responsible for your actions.

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    How do you explain this site is still alive (for many years) - i guess it in your opinion it breaks amazon terms:
    Stainless Steel Cookware: We Found the BEST Stainless Cookware Set

    And why 95% web sites are doing the same?

    I do not need opinion of people who are trying to advertise legal services. Forums are made for discussion like this one.
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    • Profile picture of the author yourreviewer
      Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

      How do you explain this site is still alive (for many years) - i guess it in your opinion it breaks amazon terms:
      Stainless Steel Cookware: We Found the BEST Stainless Cookware Set

      And why 95% web sites are doing the same?

      I do not need opinion of people who are trying to advertise legal services. Forums are made for discussion like this one.
      Good, you know the answer. Continue doing what you have been doing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    I nor anyone else can tell you why the site you mention or any other affiliate site is still alive for using what you claim:
    I checked around 10 affiliates using the same merchant and everyone is using pictures in incorrect way.. How can i compete with them, if i use non seo friendly images?
    This simply comes down to you making the decision to continue using the images you are currently using or not. You know there are risk involved. If you get a cease and desist request or a lawsuit so be it. It will be your decision and yours alone.

    Ken
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    Do you know example of an Amazon affiliate who has been sued/terminated for self-hosting product images he has promoted?

    Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

    I nor anyone else can tell you why the site you mention or any other affiliate site is still alive for using what you claim:
    So now you know what everyone think?

    Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

    This simply comes down to you making the decision to continue using the images you are currently using or not. You know there are risk involved. If you get a cease and desist request or a lawsuit so be it. It will be your decision and yours alone.
    Ken
    I am not really sure where did you get from, that i am using these images right now on my site. I do not.

    Instead of assuming incorrect things, better let me know if you are buying all images yourself, or you do not use images for your sites at all.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
    Sorry if I made a wrong assumption about your use of any pictures or for that matter any other assumption, I may have made, that is perceived by you to be inaccurate.

    Do you know example of an Amazon affiliate who has been sued/terminated for self-hosting product images he has promoted?
    No. Nor can I tell you it will happen to you.

    So now you know what everyone think?
    Now your assuming.

    I am not really sure where did you get from, that i am using these images right now on my site. I do not.

    Instead of assuming incorrect things, better let me know if you are buying all images yourself, or you do not use images for your sites at all.
    I do buy my images when I need them and there are times when I don't use them at all.

    I can see you and I are on the wrong wavelength so I think I'll just bow out of here and stop wasting my time.

    Ken
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    • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
      Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

      I do buy my images when I need them and there are times when I don't use them at all.
      Let me know once you buy not 1000 product specific images, but 50 of them. I haven't found any product picture on sale at stock sites.

      Nobody can do affiliate marketing because of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author kindsvater
    Since the other duplicate thread has been deleted and you put that ol' geezer Leatherman in his place, here's the little secret he was not telling you...

    If you want to be an Amazon affiliate without using Amazon's pictures, you need to make use of the private Warrior picture database. Last I looked there were about 3 million pictures contributed by members. Almost all are products available on Amazon.

    I don't have the url off-hand and searching is a problem right now (Is the forum running extremely slow today or is it just me?) A moderator probably has it. Just find a mod for the forum as they probably have the details.

    .
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    Thanks. It would be easier if i can download from amazon, than from database but it is nice suggestion.

    Regarding usage of pictures from amazon associates account, i have read https://affiliate-program.amazon.com...tes/agreement/ , but i still i am not 100% sure i can self host amazon product images. Especially if i want to re-size them.

    It is easy to do, but i am not sure if i am allowed to do this. (SL160 changed to SL320)
    a) 160px - https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....jL._SL160_.jpg
    b) 320px - https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon....jL._SL320_.jpg

    It even says:
    How do I copy an image from your Web site to mine?

    You can download as many images from Build Links as you want for use on your Associates Web site.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by advancedmile View Post

      It even says:
      How do I copy an image from your Web site to mine?

      You can download as many images from Build Links as you want for use on your Associates Web site.
      Which is what I said several posts ago. As long as you are promoting Amazon products via the Amazon Associates program, you can self-host and use Amazon product images.

      As I read it, you can't hotlink the images unless you use Amazon's link builder.
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      • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        Which is what I said several posts ago. As long as you are promoting Amazon products via the Amazon Associates program, you can self-host and use Amazon product images.

        As I read it, you can't hotlink the images unless you use Amazon's link builder.
        I actually took second peace of advice of yours, and i have sent an email to a manufacture and asked if i can use their images.

        I think technical details and product description can be used as well.

        For amazon link bulder pictures, an problem is can I resize pictures or not - in a way i described above.

        Also, i do not think you can use pictures from any other source on amazon sites except from link bulder. As it says in operation agreement:
        a) In order to facilitate your advertisement of Products, we may make available to you data, images, text, link formats, widgets, links, and other linking tools, and other information in connection with the Program ("Content").

        b)We hereby grant you a limited, revocable, non-transferable, non-sublicensable, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to (a) copy and display the Content solely on your site; and (b) use only those of our trademarks and logos that we may make available to you as part of Content
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  • Profile picture of the author advancedmile
    Its not alt tag, it is how site looks like in search engines. But you maybe right. Anyway i am gonna test it.

    Big sites such as: nextag, bizrate, thefind or other shopping compassion sites have all internally hosted images.
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