Warning: Don’t Help Yourself to Other People’s Images

Having spotted yet another story about a blogger being issued with a Cease & Desist notice and a demand for a huge fine just for downloading and reusing an innocuous picture of a vegetable, I’m once again issuing a plea to just please stop helping yourselves to other people’s content.

Don’t get caught illegally downloading images from Google. Just because you’ve seen a photo you like on someone’s else’s website doesn’t mean you can just help yourself. Even citing the source isn’t good enough, at the very least you should ask permission from the owner first.

The best option is to use your own proprietary imagery in your online channels. Second, best is to use paid-for stock photography, Third best is to use rights-free stock photography.

I wrote a blog linking to at least 20 sources of rights-free imagery. Yes, there’s the risk that you’ll use the same image as dozens of other people, but if you’re on a limited budget it’s still better than being slapped with a massive fine.