Can You Use Images of Other People for Commercial Gain

Intellectual property law pertaining to the use of images is always a technical minefield. One has to be very careful about how they tread through this matter since it could make all the difference in the world.

When it comes to photographs which have people in them, there are certain laws which dictate what image can be used for commercial use and what cannot. Obviously pictures which were posed for by models for the clear use of commercial use are allowed. One has to remember that the distinction should be made before the pictures are taken. The people who are in the pictures should know that these pictures will be used for commercial use.

Whether you found the picture one of those photography websites, it does not matter. An image use for commercial purposes without the consent of those in the images and the person who took the picture; the action will be deemed illegal!

Before you consider using an image for commercial use that you found online, here are a few things you should keep in mind about the image to determine whether you can use it without getting into legal trouble later on;

  1. Intrusive

You need to know whether the image was taken in an intrusive manner; was it taken against the person’s will. Were they trying to avoid being photographed but the photographer still took their photo. Were they trying their best to not have their picture taken.

  1. Intimate

You need to determine whether the picture in question was displaying an intimate aspect of the person’s life. Was it an event or moment that the person would want to only share with a few close friends and family. Something where not a lot of people were invited to witness it.

  1. Use for other purposes

If the picture was taken for a family event and only for the use of those in the picture and then it cannot be used for other purposes later on. If it was used by one company for one publication then it cannot be reused later on since it will violate the law.

  1. Person’s Expectations

The picture should also not be in the possession of the press, public and any other entity that the person could not reasonably expect would have access to the picture.

With these restrictions set by the law, it is better if one only uses free stock photos!

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