Sunday, 2 February 2014
A Costly Mistake, by Mary Smith
It taught me a lesson about checking the royalty/fee situation thoroughly before using any image. And I was lucky; I learned my lesson without any financial cost – unlike author Martin Crosbie. When he posted a feature on Indies Unlimited ‘Getty Images sued me for using one of their images’ and I asked if it would be all right to share his post on Novel Points of View blog.
He agreed and here it is:
“When I needed a cover for my first novel I purchased a few from several different royalty-free image sites, and then picked one. As I was perusing images, I saved a few in case I wanted to buy one of them later on. Months later, I inadvertently used one of those saved images in a blog post I wrote for my personal website. There was a small ‘Getty Images’ watermark in the corner of the image but I didn’t see it. Getty did though.
“The image ran on my site for six months and then I received a letter from Getty’s legal department claiming I owed them $1200 for copyright infringement. After several weeks of discussion the amount was reduced to $500.
“I do things a lot differently now. My cover designer charges less than half of that to put together a professional cover for one of my books and I don’t buy any pictures for my blog posts, or anything else for that matter. It was a lot of money; I paid Getty though. I’d used their photo and I owed the money, and when I checked their website $500 was the amount they were charging for that very expensive image. So, if you think your little blog isn’t being examined, think again. As their letters to me pointed out, even if you’ve purchased the image elsewhere, or don’t understand copyright laws, you’re still liable. I don’t put a lot of effort into my website, I devote my time elsewhere, but one of Getty’s bots saw the picture and they were happy to send me a letter. Be extremely careful that the pictures you’re using are either free images or that you’ve paid for them.”
I know I’ll be extra careful about using images – how about you?
Many thanks to Martin for letting me share his post. Martin Crosbie was born in Scotland and now lives near Vancouver, Canada. He is the author of the Amazon best-seller My Temporary Life and his self-publishing journey has been mentioned in Publisher’s Weekly, Forbes Online Magazine, and Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. He has also published an excellent guide to ebook publishing called, How I sold 30,000 eBooks on Amazon’s Kindle: An easy-to-follow self-publishing guidebook. Learn more about Martin at his website http://www.martincrosbie.com or his Amazon author page