A Personal Crisis with Copyright Law

Copyright infringement is serious
Staring at me last week was a letter from a large image provider with a settlement demand for $780.00, and an explanation that I was inappropriately using their image without their approval. Pictures of my blog and website were provided as a reference and proof that their image was used.
My heart jumped and I wondered how I obtained the image. I called the provider and spoke with someone in compliance. I explained that I purchase images that I use. She said that they had gone through my history, and determined that I did not have proper authorization.
Copyright infringement is a big deal and I am proof that there are big brands, scanning the Internet for improper use of their creative. Here are a few tips to protect yourself, your name, and reputation:
1)   Never pull or use an image without the proper authorization. It maybe tempting, but don’t do it.
2)   Keep accurate records of images that you purchase. Most reputable stock image providers will do this for you in your account detail.
3)   Use the image as indicated and not for anything other than what is stated. Typically this restricts you from using it to sell or promote a product or service.
4)   Some highly visible stock images request that you reference the image with a referral link.  Make sure to comply.
5)   If you have questions, contact the organization license compliance. Legalese can be intimidating, but don’t let it keep you from fully understanding your responsibility.
I’m happy to report that I purchased the image from another stock image provider, and when I provided the detail to the ‘big brand’, they immediately dropped the demand.  I think I’ll go buy a pair of shoes!

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Janet Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s President and CEO where she focuses on campaign development and implementation. Janet founded ZOOM Cross-Media in 2009 with a team of highly skilled industry specialists. She has a heart for service and works side-by-side with clients to deliver integrated high-impact campaigns. In Janet’s words “implementation is everything and it can make the difference between average performance and outstanding performance.” In her spare time, Janet volunteers in pet therapy at Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Adam Osterdock is ZOOM Media’s Director of Business Development where he focuses on the integration of social, digital, and print media implementation in marketing campaigns. He rejoined Zoom directly after graduating from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, where he earned the Cal Alumni Leadership Award and represented UC Berkeley at multiple international business competitions. In his spare time, he volunteers by teaching workshops at the local community college on small business development and business-case analysis.

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