If any of the images on your site are licensed to Getty Images, it may cost you thousands of dollars. Since Flickr has joined forces with Getty Images allowing Getty to sell some of their images. Therefore if you ever go to photography sharing web sites such as Flickr, Fotki, Photobucket, Panoramio, MyPhotoAlbum, etc…
I knew a company that was using some images taken from Getty Images for their web site. They were asked by Getty Images to either pay the full amount of the images or immediate remove them from the site and pay for the period of time it was use online (which amounts to a few hundred dollars). They opted to remove the images from the site and pay the royalty amount for the period of time it was on the web site. The company said they didn’t know what they did was illegal, that the images were taken from some photo sharing site from an individual who was sharing this photos to friends and family. The felt the images were nice, but not extraordinary enough for them to pay a couple of thousand dollars for.
So, how does Getty find the infringing images? One way is picscout.com, a company that advertises the ability to find images without watermarks. The system “easily detects the image even if it has been cropped, colorized or altered significantly.”
So, check your images carefully. Have you used anything from Flickr? Do you know exactly where all your images (and the elements within them) came from? Is it even possible to be sure?
I like to use Adobe Bridge which can provide me with detail information of the image files. Open your Bridge program, select your images and look at your File Properties.
A note to also know that there are different types of royalties and rights to images, when purchasing an image, read carefully about your rights to the purchased image. Some royalties only allow the usage of the image for a period of time, others are only for a certain project, geographical location, etc… If you are not sure, contact the company in which you are purchasing the images from.
If however, you don’t want to pay for the photo or you are on a limited budget, why not consider taking the images yourself? Thus you can be assure that you have full rights and royalties to those image. And if you want to sell the brilliant images that you have taken yourself, make sure you put all the necessary information into the files so that others cannot use them and make a profit from them.