After reading about the MOBE defamation lawsuit against Wealthy Affiliate. It got me curious, how safe are we really when it comes to publishing content on our websites.

I'm sure that I am not the only one who takes screenshots or snippets of images from companies, products and services that we review to give these posts some visual appeal and purpose to the contents at hand.

I'm sure that majority, if not all of these companies have copyright, policies intellectual property laws that prevent people from using images etc without given consent or affiliation ties.

So, my questions are:

(1) Can we take images that are correlated with the companies we write about and publish on our websites. Even if we have no affiliations with, and/or written consent. Could we get sued or receive jail time down the track once we establish our e-business and branding?

(2) Should we just be using free stock images, like from PixaBay and SiteContent images. Even when it might be hard to find any matching images to the company products/services we are reviewing?

(3) Can you get a pardon by publishing content in an honest, ethical and accurate way.

There is absolutely no way I could afford to go to court and hire whoever. I know next to nothing about laws and court proceedings.

If you are knowledgeable in this matter. Please let me and other WA'ers know if we need to remove these images taken. Even if they are labeled for reuse and somebody else had copyrighted that image on Google Images for example.

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ABerkeley1 Premium
Interesting topic to investigate. Thank you Benjamin for posting.
Triblu Premium
Hey Benjamin,

Only a law firm whose specialty is copyright infringements can truly offer you THE best advice when it comes to protecting yourself from potential lawsuits like this.

Like you, we are all members here at WA, and as such, we can only offer you our own experiences and NOT legal advice.

Hope you find this helpful.
ExpatMark Premium
The C-Man got you covered below. I watched all of OMOTerms videos on this very topic.
Calvinator63 Premium
HI Benjamin,

If you go to OwnMyOwnTerms ( a member here) profile they did a full series of blogs on free usage of images found on the internet and things to look at prior to using any image provided to you even on the so called free to use image providing websites. You may find it very helpful in answering your questions.

IntroVent Premium
I am not highly knowledgeable in this area, but I can tell you this much. I saw an image that I liked on a TV new station website and wrote the web master asking if I could use the picture and told them what for. They wrote back allowing me to use the picture.

You don't always have to pay.

But you do almost always have to have permission.

You know, if you were just adding these lifted pictures to a personal blog that wasn't attempting to make money, entities generally don't care. As soon as you start making money off of their work, it's a problem for everyone.