Watch copyright theft (Getty)

A quick (but important) blog on copyright.

This blog is inspired from a person who wrote their own blog as well as a solicitor I met at a networking event yesterday.

If you are over 40 years old, chances are that (as a kid) you sat by a radio with a tape player recording the top 40. If you were very clever, you may even have tried pressing pause whilst the disc jockeys were talking between tracks.

Many people didn’t know that they were breaking the law and to be honest it was pretty much impossible to police.

On the other hand, most people are aware that you can’t (legally) copy DVDs and obviously if you were caught with a video camera in a cinema you would probably be accompanied out of the cinema by policemen.

Photos and pictures are also subject to copyright and my profession obviously get a bit annoyed when people try to copy / duplicate our work as it is taking away potential income.

Now it is difficult for us to know if someone has copied a photo that has been printed, however (with modern technology) it is very easy to see if someone has stolen an image from online. Yes I use the word ‘stolen’ as it is theft of our copyright.

Whilst most photographers are small businesses, you may have heard of Getty. They are a massive company who sell images to businesses – if you look in national papers or on main stream websites (eg BBC, ITV etc) you will see © Getty Images on a number of their photos.

Now Getty are ruthless in protecting their copyright – indeed they have software that trawls the internet looking specifically for people who have used a photo without paying for it or without express permission. Those who fall foul of this will get an invoice in the post.

Now you may believe it is ok to just do a Google search for images and use any of them, but believe me, you aren’t.

So what should you do?

Well, here is a link to some free stock sites: or of course pay a stock company or even better speak to your favourite photographer to get EXACTLY the photo you want.

And of course if you do get a letter from Getty Images, consult a solicitor quickly. As mentioned, I met Kitty Rosser from Birketts LLP at a networking event yesterday who did a presentation on Intellectual Property and can be contacted here: – other solicitors are available.

28 2016