Warning:  Photo and image copyright compliancemag class

We would like to alert anyone using photographs or images, especially on a website, of the need to obtain copyright permission before use.

Getty Images

One of the largest photo and image agencies in the world, Getty Images, now has software that can automatically detect the use of unauthorised images on any website. They are acting to protect the rights of the photographers and artists involved. If the image or photo used is not covered by a copyright license, it is possible that you will be faced with an invoice for hundreds of pounds per picture. Search the internet for 'licence compliance Getty Images' for more information.

At CTE we have collated experience of this and discussed the invoicing with Getty Images, License Compliance Department, 101 Bayham Street, London NW1 0AG (0800 2799258)

Inevitably there are scams around, but Getty Images have software which can detect and contact anyone managing a website which contains their unauthorised images. Letters may be addressed to 'Legal Department' even if the recipient is a church or charity. Alternatively, you may receive an e-mail directing you to their online payment system.

We have discussed this warning with Getty Images, and we include their details with their permission so that you are assured this is an authentic issue and an important message. Getty Images also points us to Stock Photo Rights.

We believe that churches need to be as copyright aware in their use of pictures as they are in their use of music

At CTE we have become self-sufficient and removed all pictures with an unknown source. We strongly advise colleagues everywhere to do the same. As a service we are making some of our photos available. If you are interested in any others, please e-mail Jim Currin.

A major copyright distribution mechanism that covers social photo sharing is Creative Commons. This includes photographs which may be used free with a simple protocol: Photo-sharing sites like Flickr use the ‘Creative Commons’ mechanism and make it clear on each photograph what is its copyright status.

Always be careful to check the license or copyright arrangement for each photograph you may wish to use and ensure that your colleagues are equally diligent.

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