If you have reached this posting because you Googled, “is it free to use photographs taken from another person’s website” ….the answer is probably NO… and this post is dedicated to you.
Just because it is EASY to access and copy photographs via the internet doesn’t mean that the photographs are free for the taking. Copying a photograph from another website or online article or blog can easily violate another person’s copyright in the image.
Did you know that every original work (including photographs, designs, poetry, text, music… etc) that is created in the US today, is instantly vested with copyright as soon as it is written down, printed… or ‘fixed in any tangible form’? It’s true. Copyright is instantly vested in fixed, original works and this means that the owner has the right to monetize the work. (ie charge a fee to license or sell a photograph).
As you might guess, the price to license a photograph depends on how you plan to use the image and for how long. For example to license a photograph from Getty Images for 1 month, to use on a social media site costs approximately $160… and $360 for 3 months. (the price varies by image etc). Or hire a photographer to take photographs for you! Or take them yourself.
BY: Vanessa Kaster, Esq., LL.M.
See also: http://www.gettyimages.com