This is an update to my November 15, 2013 blog: Intellectual Property Warning for Small Business Owners. [http://www.eclementlaw.com/evas-legal-blog/2013/11/23/intellectual-property-warning-for-small-business-owners In the past, I discussed issues that might arise for small business owners if they intentionally or inadvertently use any photographs owned or licensed by digital photo agency Getty Images on their website, social media sites or any marketing content.
Getty Images recently announced they are now releasing up to 40 million images that can be used for “noncommercial” uses in blogs, social media websites and other online uses for free. This is a drastic shift in policy, as Getty Images previously charged for use of any image they hold the rights to. However, this change does not lessen the intellectual property issues that might arise for business owners that use any picture licensed by Getty Images.
Business owners need to be aware that if these “free” images are used to promote any service, product, or business, Getty will deem that commercial use. Commercial users will still be required to get a license to use any of their images, even if they are listed as “free” embeddable images.
Getty Image’s definition of commercial use may change. Be careful if you are not sure whether they will consider your site to be commercial or noncommercial in nature. As of now they have announced that a blog or website that receives revenue from Google Ads will not count as commercial use, so long as that blog or site does not promote a service, product or business. You should thoroughly investigate Getty Images’ current policy concerning free use before embedding any of their images on your site.
Clement Law Firm, Asheville, NC -- www.eclementlaw.com -- 828-281-8160