As an Internet lawyer, I’ve noticed that many website owners mistakenly assume that if you find a photo you like on someone’s website or blog, you can copy it and put it on your own website.
In most cases, re-using a photo without written permission to do so (typically a license) violates copyright law.
And just because a photo is on someone’s website doesn’t mean they own it. That person could have stolen it from another site or is paying for a license to use the photo.
So what happens if you infringe on someone’s copyright for a photo by republishing it without permission. Website owners with a DMCA Notice process claims as described in the notice in order to limit legal liability.
It’s common for the owner or the owner’s lawyers to make a demand that you take down the photo and pay 5,000 bucks or so for the infringement. If you find yourself in this situation, talk with your Internet lawyer about the best way to handle the claims made against you.
If you don’t pay, you get threatened with a lawsuit seeking up to 150,000 per violation plus attorneys fees and court costs.
That’s not chump change.
To your online success!
-Mike the Internet lawyer