Q: This is in regards to copyrighting an online image.
I own a small pressure washing buisness and I found a before and after picture of a house wash online. The image shows a house on the left side as dirty and then on the right side the same house but it’s clean after a washing. It’s a picture I used for my website and my postcards that I put on peoples doors. The purpose of my use of this image is to show clients what a house wash can look like/ use my buisness. I also wrote information describing the process of a washing next to the image. A year later and I am now unsure/wondering if I can use this image. I can’t find the original owner of this image. However I see many people using this before and after image on their websites, in particularly pressure washers. Because this photo is commonly used and the purpose behind my usage of it is to show the results of a house wash and to get people interested in our services which give the same results as the picture, am I allowed to use it based on the information given? Thank you in advance
Based on your story, you don't appear to have explicit permission to use the photo, and may be infringing the photographer's copyright rights. Also based on your story, this photo is widely used and the photographer may not care, or may have intentionally placed the photo in the public domain. You'll have to be the judge of whether you think enough risk exists of being sued for copyright that you want to change out the photo.
It's safe under copyright law to use a photo that you took yourself, so you may want to do that, and stop worrying about it. Best to get permission in writing from the home/building owner before you take/use the photo.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.