Getty sued for $1 billion dollars sounds like a Michael Myers punchline but it’s far from it. With the development of digital world, this happens more than you think. I’ve had several of my images stolen and used without my permission. And I’ve been lucky enough that the individual took down the images but that is loss to me and my business. The amount seems extreme, but as it says in the article it isn’t the owner of the photographs that is suing for that much. It is the courts that are tripling the bill because of previous issues with Getty.
It’s sad that anyone can grab any image off the internet and not think about the person that produced it. It’s so easy to just right click and save or share. That is one of the issues with about social media like Instagram and Tumblr. Anyone just take an image and reshare it and not give credit. If someone doesn’t notify the owner of the image that it’s being used elsewhere, the owner will never know. And I think that’s why this happens all to often. That’s why photographers have to watermark their images. So if you see someone place a watermark on a beautiful image, it’s to make sure it’s not stolen and sold back to them. Or used without name being credited for their work. In this case, it’s pretty jacked up that Getty was selling an image that was given to the public. It was free for anyone to use. All you had to do is give the owner credit for the image and you’re covered by the law and you let people know who took the photo. Plain and Simple. But Getty took the image and sold to people to make a profit, which they did, and now they need to pay. So I think the fine is very fitting. And it sounds as if this isn’t the first time Getty has done this.
So think before you right click and share or repost an image. There is someone on the other side of that image that has spent many hours on their craft and they need your help to share their work. Make sure to give credit where credit is due.