Quick Heads Up! Free Photos - there really isn't such a thing and many things free aren't worth having and will end up costing you more

Greetings dear people of the world! Just a hastily written "Heads Up" post about free photos and why you'd be a damn fool to use them.

Don't get sucked into using "free photos". There really isn't such a thing and pleading ignorance doesn't work. Photos can be offered for free, but that doesn't mean that you're in the clear - intellectual property rights and the rights of individuals are very very real, as well as serious - and getting more so (more protected, GDPR implementation). Breach these rights and it can cost YOU massively. It doesn't matter if you're a stay at home mum using a Google Images photo for your cooking blog or for a post on your Public Facebook Page - it is illegal. "I didn't know" doesn't fly. "They said it was free" doesn't fly. It is your obligation as the publishing party to ensure that all rights are cleared, not the photographer, not the place you got the photo from.

If you need a photo(s) or video(s), get them from a legit image library or legit professional photographer. Legit image libraries and proper professional photographers/videographers can make sure that you stay out of trouble, many libraries even include insurance for it baked into the price.

Small/low uses are cheap for the most part, millions of images to choose from and you won't get a letter in the mail or an e-mail informing you that you have gotten sued. By the time you're "caught" it is too late. There isn't always a nice "please take it down" letter/e-mail first, that is at the discretion of the infringed party. Also, taking it down doesn't alter the fact that you already committed a crime. This issue is real - not a photographer's hissy fit. Although, we as a collective, as all creators, are tired of getting ripped off, having our work stolen or losing out to "free photos" that really aren't free (as there might sting you massively in the behind). Also educate your children, being a child doesn't work as an excuse either, they are YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. I think most professional photographer's now-a-days more so than before think "time's up", tired of playing it nice and will be more inclined to go down the lawsuit route - been ample time to get educated, internet has been around for a long time, but the disdain for intellectual rights and individual's rights haven't risen in tandem with the increased use of imagery - please don't be caught out, educate yourself, ask questions and pay for use. All the best! /Fox

For more on this topic, take the time to watch Zack Arias well worth the watch YouTube video "Thoughts On Unsplash".