Blogs & Websites: Use images with legal certainty
Who runs a blog or a website, knows about the copyright. The creation of images and text content is extremely tedious. The Google ranking is enhanced by unique text and images, resulting in increased traffic. All the more important that the hard-won elements are not easily copied by competitors. This can devalue your own ranking in search engines. Those who notice violations of the law warn against their competitors and threaten a new infringement with a contractual penalty.
Dos and Dont's with pictures
Images may generally only be used with the consent of the author. Each image is automatically copyrighted and may not be copied or published by third parties. If you want to buy pictures, you should focus on serious image databases and websites. Anyone who acquires the rights of use of images should be able to rely on the fact that the operators of the image databases actually asked the photographers for permission. If this is not the case, the photographer can warn the user, which is associated with immense costs. Anyone who has acquired image rights for "Print" may only print the image but not use it on Facebook. Who uses "royalty" images, may not use the images at will. Many photographers set certain usage rights for their pictures. Anyone who simply copies images from the net or does not name the photographer's name can become liable to prosecution. One of the common pitfalls is that although an image is acquired, the license does not cover the respective field of activity. For example, the processing of images without the right to edit. Anyone who has been warned should not sign the attached declaration of discontinuance unchecked.
Who has the right to the picture?
The right to the picture has basically the one who shot it. The author may determine if and how his pictures are used. § 19a copyright law states that the author has the right to make the images "publicly available". If blog owners want to use pictures, they will need sub-licensing. Without the explicit consent of the author, the images may not be used in online shops, blogs, advertisements or other websites. If the author of an image can not be determined, the image should under no circumstances be used. Otherwise, significant legal issues could arise. Image databases sometimes provide royalty or free images. Be careful - license free does not mean "illegal". The user must sign a contract for the use of the images. The use of images is limited to private blogs in many situations. Who uses the images on commercial blogs, must with warnings expected. For some pictures, the photographer must be named. Pay attention to the exact name of the license. Anyone who acquires the right to an "online license" may not use the image on a printed flyer.
Which rights of use are there?
The rights of use of the picture can be arranged arbitrarily. Images are provided with a single or exclusive right of use. Some rights of use are granted for a limited time or restricted to areas such as print, online media and social media. International companies should inquire as to whether the use of the images is restricted to a particular country. Photographers agree with image databases that they may sublicense their images. It should be clarified whether the pictures may only be used or edited in the original. Some photographers or agencies restrict the right of use to purely private, commercial or editorial purposes. There are numerous image platforms on the Internet, such as Pixelio or Fotolia, which provide images free of charge or free of charge. For image databases, the license terms should be read.
What are "legal problems"?
Some bloggers think that they could respond to a warning by simply deleting the images in question. Unfortunately, the situation is not that easy. Most authors do not claim the user of the images themselves to the omission, but instruct lawyers with the exercise of their rights. This is due to the fact that a large number of legal violations take place, which must be dealt with professionally. The user of an image can not tick the warning with a simple deletion of the image. The author of the image is entitled to information claims on the extent to which the image was used. In the case of commercial use, the author is entitled to extensive claims for damages. In addition, the user of the image must bear the attorney's fees of the other party. Some courts rate the value of a protected photograph at just under 3.000 Euro. This results in legal fees in the amount of about 300 Euro - per picture!