Expensive Copyright Lesson Learned

Many people are unaware of copyright compliance so let me share a personal story so you can learn from me and save yourself from making the same very expensive mistake. I’ll start by saying that I am very aware of copyright rules. But, several years ago, I wrote a blog post about project management and tied it into the Chicken or the Egg paradox. Logically, I wanted a chicken and egg image to go along with my blog post. So, in a hurry and without much thought, I went out to Google Images and keyword searched for chicken and egg images. I found one, I saw that it didn’t have a watermark on it, so I added it to my blog. I really should have known better.

A couple of years passed by and just last week Getty Images contacted me with a screenshot of my blog post containing the offending image and demanded that I pay $250 within a week for the image or suffer the consequences.

My jaw dropped and my heart sank that I had to pay $250 for a picture of a chicken and egg! This was an expensive lesson and one that I am constantly cautioning my clients against. Now you can learn from my lesson and check out these stock image resources.

  1. Pexels.com for free images
  2. Public domain libraries for free images
  3. ShutterStock Get 2 images for $30
  4. Adobe Stock Get a membership starting with 10 free images.
  5. But, if you want a really expensive chicken and egg image, I know where you can get one.
Do you have a favorite resource for stock images?
1 reply
  1. LB
    LB says:

    My response to Getty would be that they needed to send certified proof of date for acquisition of that image including name of author and royalty agreement. If they provided that I would pay the $250 provided the date was before you used it. Getty has a history of sweeping up otherwise’ public domain images and then claiming them as their own. Proof before pay, its a fair ask.


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