Copyright Infringement

Last Update: Apr 24, 2016


We all use images at times in our online work. Where do you get your images? Some use only their own photos. Most people don’t have the skill or opportunity to take all the photos they require.

When you are starting out and money is scarce, you try to avoid paying for your illustrations by using Public Domain images. Herein lies a trap: some images listed as Public Domain are there without the photographers’ permission. So says Patty Hankins, a photographer.

I’ve just read her newsletter on the subject of copyright infringement and think that members here might be interested in what she says. She speaks from the experience of having had some of her photos misused in this manner.

Before giving you the link to her newsletter I want to add that I’m merely a subscriber to her website. I’m not promoting her, her website or anything else in any way. Be Careful When Using Photos in the Public Domain – They Might Not Be

Note: The link was a very long so I shortened it

Recent Comments


I often use my own photos however there are places they are free to use such as public domain, morgue files and pixabay

The writer's photos had been put on a public domain site without her permission. I don't know how we are to recognise that sort of infringement.

we are not the fault lies with whoever put it there in the first place it is tricky though

That's true but it appears that, even though we use such a photo unwittingly, we're still liable.

not right I am glad I avoid the public domain then have a look at pixabay

Good Subject. I have lots of experience with Law Suites. I have sued over 300 people and worked on 1000+ for DOJ. And I have access to the right lawyers. When I left WA I deleted over 100 of my blogs... several of them were on this subject.

Personally, once I give you a warning, I get pleasure from destroying your livelihood with a law suite. I have victories over Government and businesses. Just be careful out there. The more income that you have, the greater your chance of losing.

With my huge income (thanks to NZ Govt) you'd have a field day. But thanks for the warning. I'll take care not use any of your baby photos on my website.


You're welcome :)

It is definitely something to be aware of. Thank you for the reminder.

Yes, even without prosecution infringement could be costly.

Thank you for the post. I have seen some of my photos used without my permission. But I had not licensed them. Lesson learned!!

Licensing is certainly something to consider. It's made me think.

For the exact reasons you state, Margaret, I use only those images I have taken personally, or ones from my personal network of associates, friends and family.
Outside that, I don't usually need anyone else's work. Always play safe where copyright is concerned.

I'm careful about what I use but I'll be more careful now. Until I read the newsletter I hadn't realised it was such a serious matter.

It can be. A friend of my youngest sister ended up in court over one photo that was taken by him, but looked so much like another's shot, that he had to prove in court where he stood and everything. He won, but it cost him.

Thanks for sharing this. I have been using Canva but now I might need to investigate to make sure all of my pictures are above board.

It's been a wake-up call for me, even though I check every image I use

This is good to know. But the question arises....What about when I search through Google Images? You search for something particular and dozens of images show up. Are they all protected by copyright as well? I don't have funds to shell out a few dollars here and a few dollars there and the sites that offer free images don't have the ones I'm looking for. So what is one to do in order to be honest?

Just because they show up in Google, doesn't mean you can use them. Once upon a time, you could find free pictures and clipart all over the net, but not now. Everything is taken up by some picture selling company.. Try Pixabay. They have free pictures you can use.

Good question, Wayne. I found out some time ago that you click the wheel thing under the header on the page. That gives you Advanced Search. Scroll down to where it says "Then narrow your results by..." The last option there is "usage rights". I usually choose "free to use, share or modify, even commercially". I reason that unless Google has got it wrong, I'm pretty safe to use any images that are then shown. Good luck with your searches

Thanks for the advice. I will check it out.

It's getting harder and harder to trust anything i see.

I know the feeling.

Good to know.

Thanks for taking time to comment

Create Your Free Wealthy Affiliate Account Today!
4-Steps to Success Class
One Profit Ready Website
Market Research & Analysis Tools
Millionaire Mentorship
Core “Business Start Up” Training