Can I get in trouble for copying and pasting images from the internet for my websites and pages ?
The short answer is YES !!!!
One thing I see a lot of are images people get from the internet, like ...Google Images, for example that are used by many for their own websites, blogs and just about anything else you can think of.. Getty Images (I am sure you have seen them) has license to over 80 million still images ! They are a stock photo agency and they supply over 80 million stock images for consumers and businesses. Getty Images is also probably the biggest supplier of pictures anywhere.
Getty is there to protect the rights of photographers all over the world. That is were they get all these images from., the worlds photographers. Getty represents all of them that they team with, and are going to see to it that NOBODY "steals" a photo for free. Getty is very very good at this and they are extremely aggressive !!! Getty uses a "Time Machine" type website that enables them to go way back in time (we are talking years and years here), to see your posts, blogs, sites, etc. before the time you deleted, or removed them, and see if they contained any unlicensed photos. Getty Images uses auto bots (of sorts) to scan through the entire internet, continuously searching out violators to find and prove copy right infringements.
They are that good !! And they are not nice to deal with either.
There are many horror stories of regular people like you and I finding in the mailbox, a letter from Getty Images stating you have been found to be in possession of stolen copyrighted images and are about to be sued. You will be demanded to pay up. Right Now !! These fines are in the ....THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS........range. <<<<<<<Go back and read that again !!>>>>>>> Now think about that for a second. These are everyday ordinary people who are just trying to do some blogging or create websites and pages to make a little $$ on the side. I will say it again....Getty Images are VERY VERY aggressive because they take this matter that seriously. It is actually good for the world's photographers because really, that is how a lot of them make their living and get paid. But it should be enough to make anyone STOP and rethink this whole image thing. I know it has for me !
It's just so easy and innocent, you know sitting there alone and quietly find that one great photo for your site...easy...just a simple, quiet "save image as......and copy and paste" into your site. Who the heck will ever know ? And it looks fantastic too !
Here is another thing, if you hire someone to build you a website, even if you paid thousands for it from a "professional", you had better put in your contract that they, the designer, will by no circumstances use any unlicensed photos or materials. Wanna know why ? Because YOU, the website owner, will be on the hook. Your site, your responsible for any and all content regardless of who built it.
Did you know that a recent study determined that over 85% of the photos used online are in violation of a copyright infringement ?
Did you know that Getty is suing more people than Google, Microsoft, Apple, IBM and other corps combined ? Google "Getty Images Letters" and prepare to be amazed. Look this needs to be taken very seriously, so the best thing I would recommend is to be very, very careful about where you get your images. There are legit paid, and free sites, but you need to research for them and some might not be as good as others, you just need to look.
Another thing also is that if you are an Affiliate Marketer, then it is perfectly fine (as far as I know) to use for example...Amazon Images for your Amazon sales pages . Same for Ebay and ClickBank as well.
Hope this help you all out ! It definitely opened my eyes to this growing trend.
Thanks Pete !