Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)

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Lime
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PostGood Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Lime » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:29 am

Hey all,

My partner has a couple of websites for her small business that she set up years ago.

Unfortunately, one of the tiny images she used has been subject to a copyright claim via email. I'm not naming the company involved in case they are searching the web for mentions. To be honest it seems like extortion, they are asking for hundreds of euros for this tiny image that's several pages in, hardly a revenue generating image and unknowingly used without permission (taken from a 'free images' site, but no proof of where). They are claiming for retrospective royalties, so apparently taking it down doesn't make a difference. They are apparently escalating to their legal team as we haven't yet responded.

If we'd known, we just wouldn't have used the image.

We've taken the websites down and are seeking legal advice.

We have absolutely no intention of infringing copyright, and it's not critical that we use specific images, it's just about finding suitable ones that we can use freely.

We need to relaunch ASAP, her business income is already down 90% due to Covid, it couldn't have come at a worse time.

Does anyone know of free-use image sites that are genuinely free to use, that we won't be called out on in the future? It's causing serious stress and sleepless nights here for something we had no intent to do :(

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Prototype » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:31 am

EDIT Don't use these guys.

Last edited by Prototype on Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Lime » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:34 am

Prototype wrote:[edit: not these guys] should do the job.



Thank you - am I right in thinking that you make a one off payment and then can use the images?

Are there any places where it's free to use the images?

Last edited by Lime on Tue Jun 16, 2020 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Rex Kramer » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:36 am

You can try https://pixabay.com/

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by OrangeRKN » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:38 am

I'd actually recommend you pay for some really cheap stock images instead - having the receipts will help protect you should a claim be made against you at any point down the line (and they can still happen, frivolous or not). Non-exclusive rights to single images are cheap, it shouldn't set you back much (a quick look and both adobe and shutterstock work out at £6 an image) - although it looks like you can get 10 free images to keep from shutterstock if you sign up for a trial, so maybe that will cover you?

Just make sure you keep a record of any images you use with proof of where you got them from. Saving a link won't be enough because the image could always be taken down from wherever you sourced it. I don't know but I imagine accounts on places like shutterstock must make this easy.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Corazon de Leon » Tue Jun 16, 2020 10:43 am

Prototype wrote:https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/ should do the job.


Funnily enough I was told the opposite about Getty - I used some images in my PhD thesis that had to ultimately be removed due to the fact that if they were published, Getty would require a high fee and it would be difficult to license them out.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Prototype » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:00 am

Lime wrote:
Prototype wrote:https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/ should do the job.



Thank you - am I right in thinking that you make a one off payment and then can use the images?

Are there any places where it's free to use the images?


Disregard my recommendation on what Cora just posted. We use Getty at my work but i don't have any further info on them. Wouldn't want you being bumped out of money.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Lime » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:05 am

Prototype wrote:
Disregard my recommendation on what Cora just posted. We use Getty at my work but i don't have any further info on them. Wouldn't want you being bumped out of money.


Ah ok, thanks. From a quick google they are also seem to be a company that uses threatening legal action rather than a 'takedown or licence' approach.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Prototype » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:08 am

Lime wrote:
Prototype wrote:
Disregard my recommendation on what Cora just posted. We use Getty at my work but i don't have any further info on them. Wouldn't want you being bumped out of money.


Ah ok, thanks. From a quick google they are also seem to be a company that uses threatening legal action rather than a 'takedown or licence' approach.


Yep - apologies for my kneejerk recommendation.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Madness » Tue Jun 16, 2020 12:29 pm

I use Pexels and Unsplash personally - haven’t had any issues - but most of my image use is on an intranet at work so fairly low risk.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Lime » Tue Jun 16, 2020 2:17 pm

Thanks for all the information!

The email seems like extortion, and we've flagged it up for investigation. You can't just send someone hundreds of euro because they've emailed you.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by LewisD » Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:02 pm

Pexels.

Free to use images and high resolution.

https://www.pexels.com/

Free stock photos you can use everywhere. ✓ Free for commercial use ✓ No attribution required.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Dual » Tue Jun 16, 2020 4:48 pm

Lime wrote:Thanks for all the information!

The email seems like extortion, and we've flagged it up for investigation. You can't just send someone hundreds of euro because they've emailed you.


They sound like chancers. I would ignore.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by SerialCeler » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:25 pm

Sorry to hear this Lime.

Unfortunately, you might need to pay them.

I’ve seen a few of these emails/letters in my time as a magazine editor. Picture agencies are notoriously defensive of their IP, and they used to employ people to find unauthorised use (it’s probably all automated with metadata). Getty are one of the most aggressive in my experience, ironically.

If you can’t prove you had the rights to use it, you haven’t got much room for manoeuvre.

Is there a phone number to respond to? I would expect a reputable picture agency to have one. Trying to talk to them might help, although my experience is they are quite inflexible. But you might be able to negotiate buying the rights instead.

I would definitely not ignore the email. I hope this is useful, even if not what you want to hear.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Dowbocop » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:34 pm

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... UBlRW8MjnG

This is a link to a PDF from the British Institute of Professional Photographers which has some information about resolving issues towards the end. Hope it helps and you don't get too badly stung.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Somebody Else's Problem » Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:53 pm

I want to create an image site that inserts Prince Philip or Prince Andrew into every picture, unless you pay up.

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PostRe: Good Royalty Free image sites (for website use)
by Lime » Tue Jun 16, 2020 11:01 pm

SerialCeler wrote:Sorry to hear this Lime.

Unfortunately, you might need to pay them.

I’ve seen a few of these emails/letters in my time as a magazine editor. Picture agencies are notoriously defensive of their IP, and they used to employ people to find unauthorised use (it’s probably all automated with metadata). Getty are one of the most aggressive in my experience, ironically.

If you can’t prove you had the rights to use it, you haven’t got much room for manoeuvre.

Is there a phone number to respond to? I would expect a reputable picture agency to have one. Trying to talk to them might help, although my experience is they are quite inflexible. But you might be able to negotiate buying the rights instead.

I would definitely not ignore the email. I hope this is useful, even if not what you want to hear.


It's not Getty, it's a company I'd not heard of, not UK based, and from a Google it has quite a chequered history to get where they are now- if indeed it is them, and not a scammer who's trying it on pretending to be them. I can't find the image on any picture site any more.

We've logged as a potential fraud for investigation, I think that's justified rather than sending off money with no idea if it's legit or not.

Having searched some legal forums, some people respond with examples of similar pictures and pricing, and ask them to explain/defend the huge pricing. I've not seen what the outcomes are, though, as nobody seems to come back to say what happened.

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