The internet affords creative people and businesses around the world an unprecedented ability to communicate with an unlimited audience base. One of the methods used to clearly communicate a story or to sell a product is through the use of images. When properly used, an image can help to convey a story or to highlight the attributes of a product in a way that words simply cannot. Because of this there is real value behind images that are placed on websites throughout the internet. As with anything valuable there are individuals who want to use these images for their purposes without having to compensate the creators for their use. Those who hold the rights to these images may not know that it is easier to protect these images than it may seem. Licensed images can be protected through obtaining a copyright.
Anyone who operates a website knows that the creation and selection of images is not a simple task. It is up to the website operator to either go out and create the image on their own. Capturing a decent image could cost a significant amount of time and money that could be better spent elsewhere. So many website operators choose to purchase images online. However, because they are spending money on a specific image website operator want to know that the purchased image cannot simply be added to a competitor’s website to confuse the audience or customer base. Without proper protection for a licensed image it would be impossible to prevent the same image appearing in multiple different websites without permission.
Obtaining protection for an image isn’t difficult. The creator of the image simply needs to apply for a copyright. Once the copyright has been obtained the image will be protected from unauthorized use. Depending on the number of images that may need to be protected the creator can either obtain the copyrights on their own or hire an attorney to expedite the process. It is important to note that a copyright can be obtained for images no matter the size of the website that the image is intended to be used for. Small blogs have the same right to protections as large corporations. Therefore, a creative photo that truly captures the message behind a blog should be protected in the same way as a photo generated for a multimillion dollar advertising campaign.
Generally, an attorney should be kept on retainer to deal with the unauthorized use of a licensed image. The attorney will be able to start with sending the offending party a letter demanding the immediate removal of the wrongfully used image. Usually, this will be sufficient to end the unauthorized use. In many cases the party using the image may have been mistaken as to whether they were allowed to use the image in the first place. Accidents do happen, and a simple letter can cheaply put an end to unauthorized use. However, if the party using the image refuses to comply, the attorney can then explore other options such as obtaining an injunction and suing for damages.