Oak Lawn, IL asked in Copyright and Intellectual Property for Indiana

Q: Can I be fined for using unmarked copyrighted images on a website I designed?

Ive been contacted my a third party image rights company on behalf of a photographer for copyright infringement for a couple images used on a clients website. However, there was no indication these images were copyrighted. Is it legal to charge someone a fine without warning, If there was no watermark or way to identify if the images were copyrighted? They are asking for $750 for three small photos

1 Lawyer Answer
Jason Brooks
Jason Brooks
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • los angeles, CA

A: A copyright is established the moment the content is created. In order to use someone else's photograph, you must obtain consent (i.e. a license) to do so. A copyrighted image (or any other copyrighted material) does not have to have any sort of markings or other indication of copyright; rather, you have to presume material is copyrighted unless there are specific indications otherwise, and will be held legally responsible for copyright infringement if you use such material without consent. My advice is to pay the fees or risk defending against a lawsuit for a greater amount of money.

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