Got a notice on copyright infringement? Here's what you could do to avoid the fiasco

We often get pictures off google search results. You know, to post on our website, social media, and other platforms? But, while being sneaky, did you know you could be breaking the law?

You could face legal actions when you use images without permission or a licence. The owners of the copyright have certain exclusive rights. Section 25 of the Copyright Act of 1957 states that the photographs are protected by copyrights for a period of 60 years. Copyright infringement is a criminal offence under Section 63 of the Copyright act and the minimum punishment is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of INR 50,000

At Picxy, we help you avoid breaking the law. We are all on to help you visually narrate the best stories. Be it as an organization, photographer, student, or content creator. There are tons of images on our website to choose from. So, you can focus on finding the right image and not worry about legal issues!

1. Why can't I directly download the image from Google?

When in doubt of whether you can use an image you liked on Google or elsewhere, find its root source. You can also choose images based on your needs. The filter  for finding the right kind of images lies under the usage rights option in tools section. This gives you the choice to view images that are:

                                    * Labeled for reuse with modification
                                    * Labeled for reuse
                                    * Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification
                                    * Labeled for noncommercial reuse

©Picxy.com/Thamrongpat Theerathammakorn

2. What are editorial and commercial use of images?

A commercial use indicates that the particular images are used to sell something. In this case, the company logo must be removed and models in the photo must have sign releases.

An editorial use indicates that the image is restricted to non-commercial uses only. They cannot be used to advertise or promote a product or service. Editorial images can contain logos and people without model releases.

So the next time you’re buying images, consider your usage rights and understand the difference between commercial and editorial uses.

3. What can I do if the image I like is watermarked?

What if one wants to use a copyrighted image for marketing purposes? Get the permissions from the rights-holder to avoid infringement. Watermarks protect the images from exploitation. When you use watermarked versions of images that you like - you are stealing from the photographer who captured the shot. Also, the photo stock company that listed the said image.

©Picxy.com/Saurabh Sirohiya

Buying an image prevents you from getting sued which can be a very expensive affair. When it comes to branding, every action impacts your company in some way. So, using a watermarked image without acquiring its rights may make you a cheapskate.

©Picxy.com/Saurabh Sirohiya

4. Where should I buy copyrighted images from?

Stock photo companies are one of the best ways to find and use images for your website, social media and other platforms. Let me tell you about the easiest way to find images! *cough, cough*

©Picxy.com/Abdul Munaff

Picxy is South Asia's largest stock photo company. From digital usage to print usage, we can help you out by visually narrating your story in the best way possible. Best part about us?  The availability of India-related images. Because we are dil se desi, we made sure that one can buy an image for as low as INR 50.

5. How do I get an insight into copyright infringement and laws?

Understanding copyright infringement and laws could seem very tedious. But, we're here to break it down for you. Under the Copyright Act, 1957,  the term ‘work’ includes various types of artistic projects. This clause also includes photographs. In India, the registration of copyrights is not mandatory, as it is treated as a mere record of a fact.

©Picxy.com/Towfiqu barbhuiya

For example, if you take a photo of a mountain and someone else also takes a picture of the same mountain, you can’t stop them. but, if they use your photo of the mountain, then you have the right to stop them. Section 51 of the Copyright Act intends to protect photographers’ copyright infringement.

6. What should I do if I don't want to pay for images?

You can find free images on various stock photography libraries. An extensive search can help you find these websites. It would take a lot of time to search for specific India-related images and the quality of the images from these sites isn’t the best. At Picxy, we have a huge collection of India-related, high-quality images which can be bought for as low as INR 50.

7. What do I do if I get sued for copyright infringement?

Being sued is a stressful experience. Ignoring a summons or proceeding doesn't make it go away. And it may lead to a court judgment against you by default which involves a hefty pay. Talk to the litigator and try to resolve the dispute.

Most of the cases related to copyright infringement are settled between INR 5,000 to INR 10,000. It can go up to INR 1,00,000 sometimes and it's best to avoid this situation altogether by buying copyrighted images.

8. So basically, how do I avoid copyright infringement?

Avoiding copyright issues is very simple. Educate your team, creative community and employees about copyright laws! This makes sure that the images used for both editorial and commercial purposes are bought with proper usage rights. Why pay tens and thousands of rupees for copyright infringement issues when you can buy images which ware very inexpensive.

The one thing to take away from this post is that copyright infringement is an avoidable mistake. One that can be very expensive otherwise.

So, if, my reader, you are not sure an image is subject to copyright, always assume that it is. The safest way is to buy images from a stock photo company! *wink, wink* Until then, stay safe and create amazing stories!

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About Hansy Sanctis

  • Bangalore