Will you get sued if you use Google images for your blog posts?
It is quite possible, friend.
Do yourself a favor and do NOT use images from Google for your blog posts. I see way too many bloggers doing this and while you may get away with it for a while, it will most likely catch up to you in the future.
The issue is that Google images (even when using the filters) contain copyrighted photos and using them will get you in trouble.
Case in point: A few months ago, I got a letter from the wonderful legal team at Getty images requiring me to pay $750 for an image I had used without a license on an old blog post of mine that no one even read.
Purchasing Legal Rights
For the past five years or so, I’ve been good about only using images that were Creative Commons-licensed or that I had purchased the rights to use. So I was a bit confused as to how this happened. After pulling up the offending blog post, I realized that the image referred to was actually part of a screenshot I took from Turbotax on a review post.
So, technically, Turbotax did (I assume) have the legal right to use the image, and I took a screenshot of the Turbotax site. Also, the total size of the screenshot was about 200px by 200px, which put the actual image size the Getty lawyers were concerned about to probably 25px by 25px.
So after seeing all this, I hoped they would have some leniency given the circumstances, and they did. I called the number on the threatening letter, and the person I talked to said he’d let it slide if I removed the image from my site.
I learned some big lessons here, but the biggest was that these guys are using bots to scour the Web looking for unlicensed images.
Since that’s the case, no one and no website, no matter how old or unpopular, is safe.
I thought they only accidentally stumble on a popular post and say, “Hey, I think that’s my image he’s using,” but instead, they have the tools to scour every nook and cranny of the Internet looking for violators.
So consider yourself warned!