Naperville Business Lawyer Discusses the Use of Images on Your Company’s Website
In today’s competitive business landscape, it is important for business owners to utilize every available avenue for reaching potential customers and clients. Print advertising campaigns, television ads, and radio spots are all good examples of how some businesses market themselves, but not every company can afford to spend a great deal on aggressive advertising. Having a professional and informative company website, however, is a different story.
As a business law attorney and a business owner, I recognize that every business needs to be online. At the very least, your current and prospective customers should be able to use the internet to learn how to contact your company, as well as to learn about the products and services that you offer. As a visual medium, a website will include a variety of photos and other images along with the company’s vital information. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for business owners to run into problems for misusing online images.
If you are working with a website designer or an online marketing service, your service contract probably contains language regarding your website’s images. If you are building the site on your own, you will need to be aware of how the licensing process works for stock images. Stock images refer to photographs, illustrations, and other visual creations that are made available for use either by the creator or through a stock image service like iPhoto, Fotolia, or Shutterstock.
Some stock images are available to be licensed for free, but most such services make image licenses available for purchase—either on a per-image basis or a monthly subscription basis. The terms of the licensing agreement can be complex and, in some cases, more limiting than you might realize, so it is important to read the fine print before spending the money for stock images.
Do Not Just Copy and Paste
While you might realize that buying stock image licenses is the best way to go, you may be wondering why you cannot just download an image from someone else’s site and use it on your own. After all, it only takes a few clicks to save a photo and upload it on your company’s site.
The problem is that using images for which you do not have a license could result in legal action being taken against you and your business. Over the last few years, I have had several clients come to me saying that they received letters from law firms regarding copyright infringement related to images on their websites. Advances in image-recognition technology have made it easier for artists and stock photo companies to find license violations, and the cost of getting caught is quite high.
A DuPage County Business Lawyer Can Help
If you have questions about using photos or images on your company’s website, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney for answers. We will help you avoid unnecessary risks and ensure that your company is fully protected. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.