5 Reasons Unlicensed Images Are Bad for Business

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0942916: Danger Sign – 20 February 1947

With the number of images available on the web today, it is unsurprising to see individuals and companies use unlicensed images to promote their brands and products.

With a camera readily available in your pocket, content is being created and shared at a breakneck speed. Stock images are available on various sites and getting licensed images is very easy these days, but the pitfalls of using unlicensed images aren’t always clear.

Keep reading to see why unlicensed images are bad for your business.

Photo Ethics And Why They Matter

Photo ethics are subjective as everyone’s ethics differ based on their experiences and values.

Photos, images, and designs are all someone’s intellectual property. So you need to ask yourself if it is ethical to use their property without their consent. This also applies to editing images so that they appear original or recreating someone’s original idea as your own.

Unlicensed Images Legal Issues

There are businesses created solely for the purpose of finding where unlicensed images are being used. If you are using unlicensed images you will receive a cease and desist letter demanding you remove the image immediately. Along with the cease and desist letter, you will most likely receive a fine, the amount depending on the owner.

If you do not respond to the letter there is a strong possibility that you will be sued in federal court.

Reputational Damage

If you are being sued for using unlicensed images, the financial damages are only a part of the backlash. Your reputation will also suffer a hit which could lead to further financial loss.

Photographers and creatives are very outspoken on the use of their images and word will spread of the issue. This will lead to people losing trust in your business.

Discredits Your Brand And Business

There is a saying that it only takes one bad deed to ruin your reputation. If your reputation gets damaged your business will lose its credibility. And without credibility, you will lose your audience.

Duplicate Content Lowers SEO

In the digital space photographers and image creators are embedding metadata on their photos. This allows the creators’ to see where their photos are being used.

On top of letting creators know where their images are being used, the embedded data is used to ensure their image is seen as the original online. So if you use the same image Google will read the data and see that it is duplicate content. This decreases your search engine ranking making your content harder to find.

If you buy stock photos, the metadata isn’t embedded in your version of the image, so you won’t be penalized.

Don’t Take The Risk Of Unauthorized Use

The risk just isn’t worth the reward. By using unlicensed images you are not only damaging your business through unethical and unlawful practices, but you are losing money. Instead, take a look at our curated images that you can license to save yourself the time and damages.


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