Facebook users breach copyright – and deprive professional photographers revenue they are entitled to – by posting images plucked from the internet without permission, warn legal experts.
Professional photography is ?creeping onto social network sites more and more with a growing number of people using professional shots as their profile picture, in shared wedding albums or even submitted as competition entries?, claims In Focus, a photography insurance provider.
Keith Arrowsmith, intellectual property and media partner at law firm Ralli said: ?I have been involved in cases where consumers have been faced with demands for hundreds of pounds of license fees after unwittingly using unauthorised photos online.
?There is a certain amount of naivety regarding what can and can?t be used without permission.
?The facts speak for themselves, however, and people get into trouble for using images they have found online without seeking prior permission.’
Steve Hewlett, a director of In Focus, added: ?People mustn?t presume they can do what they like with professional images; permission must be sought.
?You can?t just take a photographer?s work off their website or online proofing albums ? it lowers the value of their work.
?Photographers are entitled to ask Facebook users to remove their images and take legal action if they refuse.?