First and Foremost…BUYER BEWARE!
This article is based on my own experience as a small business owner who works hard to create interesting and compelling posts. Being well aware of the fact that posts with eye-catching photos or graphics help your overall engagement and ‘open’ rates for emails, I have spent many hours over the years looking for just the right photo to accompany my articles, blog posts, and social networking updates.
Many times I have paid for the rights to use photos from sites such as Istock photo, but other times I have googled images of random things (like a stack of cardboard boxes to attach to my post about moving) from the google images site. Months to years after the image has been used, I have received demand letters from copyright infringement representatives from the Getty Collection claiming rights (and large fees and back-payments) due for the use of the random photo of boxes. When I say large fees, I mean in the thousands….for one tiny photo.
So, after many hours of research and countless phone calls to Getty’s representatives who strong-arm small business owners with crazy demands, I thought I’d share some information I found extremely useful. Of course, I’ll be sighting the source, and adding a link to my post to try and avoid getting smacked down again…and hope that in the bigger picture reality of social sharing, people actually appreciate getting their articles and viewpoints shared in order to expand their brand and insights (she says’ with her fingers and toes crossed.)
I found this wonderful article on Conversion Max’s website written by this fellow: