Are You Borrowing Images From Google Searches For Your Blog? Be Warned: You Could Be Sued!
If you are borrowing images from Google searches for your blog or website then BE WARNED: you could be sued!! There are companies out there who make it their job to 'fish' for people who want to use images found online 'illegally' on their blogs and websites. Once you post it they send you an email demanding money for the copyright violations and the amount they want ain't small.
Here's how it works ... these 'people' will post images on websites with search terms for items ... like: chair, table, flowers, monkey, baby, etc ... they will get it up high in the 'image search' rankings so that it's one of the first images that people see ... that way, when people are 'google-ing' for images they are more likely to pluck their choice from the top. Then, once that happens these 'people' find your post and BOOM: serve you with a very threatening email.
Are they legit?? YES. I hate to say it ... these 'photographers' do have rights and if they can prove they took the photo or that they are the owners it can be a very serious violation. Well, can't I just take down the photo and fix it that way?? Unfortunately no :( The law still protects the owner of the image even if you take it down upon receiving their email.
Look, everyone is guilty of this ... even me. If you have yet to receive an email claiming that you violated a copyright law and you know you have images on your website or blog that were 'taken from a search' then I'd remove it NOW ... like, NOW NOW. Don't risk it! But, what if I give a photo credit to the owner in my post?? Not good enough - these days you have to have PERMISSION from the owner of the image to post it on your website or blog.
Copyright laws are very strict. And while it's sh*tty that some of these people who own the images do it on PURPOSE and tempt you with the photos - don't fall for it - only use images that you have DIRECT PERMISSION to use and you'll be golden!