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30 July 2007



Our minister got 'stung' a couple of months ago for the same thing...


Hmmm... very intersting. Looking at my blog, I see that the only pictures I used that I hadn't taken were three pictures of products for sale. Whilst I'm certain I wouldn't get in trouble for using these images (as it is free advertising for them), I removed them just to be on the safe side. Thanks for the heads up!

John Smulo

Tough issue. I tend to only use stock photos that I pay for. I hate having to spend the $$ on this. But I get pictures I like and I don't have to worry about the liability issues. There's some free stock photos out there, but most are sold for a relatively inexpensive price.

I'm really sorry that you've been threatened with being sued over this. It seems that in an age where access to pictures is so easy--particularly through using Google's image search--that picture owners should be required to use some kind of due diligence to let others know that pictures have copy write. But that is tough as well, as once they're up on a site and can be easily discovered, they can wind up anywhere.

Chris Hamer-Hodges

Some copyright owners are abusing their rights and threatening to sue prematurely.

The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48) states:
"97.—(1) Where in an action for infringement of copyright it is shown that at the time of the infringement the defendant did not know, and
had no reason to believe, that copyright subsisted in the work to which the action relates, the plaintiff is not entitled to damages
against him, but without prejudice to any other remedy."

So if you made an honest mistake and removed the image as soon as you were notified, you are not liable under UK law.

The best thing to do is to is to dispute the charges by recorded delivery. That way they cannot pass the claim onto a debt collection agency.

Also, although companies like Getty have sent out thousands of letters threatening legal action, they have not (as yet) ever taken anyone to court.

Having said all that, it's always best to use images that are genuinely free or that you have paid for.

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Books - GadgetVicar is trying to finish:

GadgetVicar serves with:

  • Scottish Anglican Network
    A network in Scotland of Anglican churches and individuals who follow Jesus and are enthusiastic for Him to be known in our communities.
  • St Thomas' Church, Edinburgh
    A welcoming community of people in the West of Edinburgh who follow Jesus and who long for others to join them on that journey.
    Helping faithful Anglicans in the British Isles and Europe to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.
  • Tearfund
    A Christian charity passionate about ending poverty. I serve on the Scottish Advisory Group.