I'm reminded of something I'm sure most of us have heard from our parents while growing up, "Don't touch that! You don't know where it's been". Well, this can also apply to imagery for your marketing materials. With the convenience of doing image searches through the web, we are constantly given more and more opportunities to just grab something we find and use it. Don't! It is so important to make sure that you know the imagery that's being used on all of your marketing materials is paid for properly and that you have the right to use them.
A story I came across helped bring this more into focus. A copywriting company grabbed an image they found using an image search and used it online for a promotion of one of their services. 2 months later they received a letter from a lawyer about ceasing the use of the imagery and eventually after months of lawyers and back and forth threats had to settle in paying $4,000. This was for an image which would have cost $10 to use through proper channels. Apparently copyright infringement involving images that are registered with the U.S. Copyright Office allows for statutory damages of up to $30,000, or $150,000 if it can be demonstrated it was a willful act.
Dealing with selecting key imagery for our client websites is a challenging daily aspect. To be able to set one client apart from another and give them something unique to them and support their corporate branding is a unique opportunity. Making sure you have the rights to use certain imagery, and logos, upon your website or other marketing materials is critical.
Be sure to check with the designers you deal with to make sure they have the rights to use the imagery that is being chosen for your materials. Of course, here at Haley Marketing, we can assist you with any of your questions about imagery uses.