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Would I get caught if I used a few picture from a stock image website?

Discussion in 'Graphic Design' started by mqs1000, May 8, 2013.

  1. mqs1000

    mqs1000 Power Member

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    Let's say I "borrowed" some pictures from a stock image website like Shutterstock. I photoshopped the watermark off and used the image on my site. Then about two months from now, I actually made a membership with Shutterstock and legally downloaded those same pictures. Would I get caught?

    You might ask why not just make the membership now. Because as of now I don't require more than a few pictures, so paying over a hundred dollars monthly for 25 pics / a day does not make sense. In two months I will need 25 pics a day.
     
  2. Hilly

    Hilly Newbie

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    To answer your question: It's possible you could get caught, yes. Stock photographers and their agencies monitor the use of their images through reverse image searches. A dead giveaway that an image is stolen? If it's in use despite not yet selling a single license. Whoops!

    Rather than stealing from a little guy (photogs making pennies licensing their work) why not use free images from legitimate sources? Search creative commons, pixabay, SXC, etc.
     
  3. TedNugent

    TedNugent Junior Member

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    Ive used pictures from sites like that before, never had any trouble. A better practice would be just using google image search. I dont want to promote illegal activity, but its really not that hard. Think about it. Taking an image from a smaller website would make it harder to get caught instead of using one from a big name like shutterstock or iStock. In short, dont do anything illegal, but there are ways around. Just use common sense and simple tools that utilize images from all around the web. Just food for thought.
     
  4. gene_nero

    gene_nero Newbie

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    From my experience you should always try to use original images or images that are not bound to cr laws and have no demand for permission to share. Wikis have great source for free usable images. Also it seems like some images are out there as bate for suckers. For specific niche websites you must have professional collection of great looking images. They dangle it there for some sucker to have the desire and then SLAP. One of those companies is getty images. google "getty images letter "
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
  5. 4kbmcc

    4kbmcc Registered Member

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    Be careful, I actually had someone make a website for me. They took pictures from a photographer's site without their permission. About 6 months later I get an email from a very angry photographer. Not a great experience.
     
  6. seoshark

    seoshark Newbie

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    Better safe then sorry
     
  7. allply

    allply Registered Member

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    What did you end up doing with the photographer?
     
  8. GreenLightArticles

    GreenLightArticles Newbie

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    Exactly... I wouldn't take this risk.

    It could be okay for months, years... until some day someone finds out about it.
     
  9. john1444

    john1444 Elite Member

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    Don't bend the rules otherwise your entire effort could be ruined with just one lawsuit.
     
  10. bryanon

    bryanon Executive VIP Premium Member

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    Question 1 - are you based in the US?

    If you are then play it safe and don't use those images. Even though the chances of getting caught are slim, and if you do then the chances of getting sued (as opposed to getting an angry email and then either paying for the images or removing them) are even slimmer, it's not a risk worth taking.

    If you aren't then go right ahead, especially if you're planning on buying the membership in a month from now. Pretty much the worst that can happen is the copyright owner or their representative sending you an angry e-mail or a letter and leaving you alone after you've either paid for the image or removed it. You can always say "sorry, I outsourced the design and wasn't aware that the image was under copyright". No-one is going to pursue an international lawsuit for the mis-use for a few $1 images.
     
  11. VinceC

    VinceC Elite Member

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    so can anyone direct me for paid images where is ok to use for my clients projects? thks
     
  12. SwiffJustus

    SwiffJustus Junior Member

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    I know this is not answering your question but I thought you
    may wanna have a gander at this.
    Sorry I didn't supply the answer you seek.
    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-fairuse.html
     
  13. WizGizmo

    WizGizmo Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Thread moved to the Graphic Design section.

    "Wiz"
     
  14. Xytin

    Xytin Newbie

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    It's definitely not a great idea. I wouldn't risk it.
     
  15. hr888

    hr888 Newbie

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    If you are using stock images to make profit then you need to purchase them, IMO. I wouldn't take images to promote anything from a stock photo website, always purchase them first. Sometimes I may use Google images and edit them for use but if using them for promotion, always purchase first. There are cheaper stock photo sites you can use while you get started, images are not as good but at least you know you are not stealing them.
     
  16. Raffy

    Raffy Regular Member

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    I would just use a free stock image site so that you don't have to worry. There are plenty of good, free sites out there. http://www.sxc.hu/ is one.

    If you're going to use the copyrighted images anyway then you should at a minimum horizontally flip the image to make it harder for the owner to find it through a reverse lookup. It would also be a good idea to strip the meta data from it.
     
  17. xallever

    xallever Newbie

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    it's not worth it. Use stock images that are free, if you must. If you can, design a site with minimum imageries as a solution if you're tight with budget.
     
  18. mickyfu

    mickyfu Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    There is no need to photoshop the image. Simply go to photostock, find an image you want, right click it and open image in new tab, copy image url from new tab, paste into google images, click search by image and 99% of the time you will find the image without the watermark. Works for all stock image sites.
     
  19. pfeiffensack

    pfeiffensack Newbie

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    Better use services like StockXCHNG.
    As soon as your site is indexed by search engines it's very very easy for them to find their images on your site.
    Just take a look at Google's similar image search, stock image providers are using technologies like that.

    Years ago I've used an image from Getty and did not think much about it. Was just for a small company website.
    Few months later I got a letter from their lawyer with a fu... indemnity claim over $25'000 (no joke!).
    Fortunately my defence insurance negotiated a deal with them so finally I only had to pay $2000 but it was really not worth it...
     
  20. Edgester

    Edgester Newbie

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    Being a photographer myself I would be pissed if someone stole my work and used it for nothing. I don't get where people think that photographers shouldn't be paid for their work. Do you expect to go to work, produce something and not get paid for it? I didn't think so. And yes you can get some pretty hefty fines if you're caught using someone's photos. If you have to have images then do the right thing and pay the photographer for them. It's part of doing business just like buying traffic, hosting, etc.