The Canadian Copyright Act ensures that all artists, including photographers, can protect their work from unauthorized reproduction. In our day and age, when an image can be downloaded off of a search engine with a touch of a screen, it can be easy to forget that these images are creative property and are subject to copyright laws. This can get people into some sticky situations in a case where someone uploads an image to their website and, perhaps unknowingly, displays that image without proper licensing.
If an image is found to be used without proper authorization, the company that owns the copyright to the images are entitled to send infringement notices to the owner or provider of the website. The notice will generally advise that the image either be removed or payment be made. If this notice is not complied with, worst-case scenarios include court proceedings and fines as high as $10,000.
As frightening as that may sound, these laws are only in place to protect the livelihood of the photographers and artists who produce these images. For this reason it is important to make sure that you are authorized to use any image you upload to your website, and have the validation to prove it. There are many online companies that offer stock photos at reasonable prices; this is your safest bet. You may also hire a photographer to take personalized pictures for your website. If you do, just make sure that you let the photographer know that these images will be uploaded to your website and have a written agreement. All of SmartWeb Canada’s design packages include a certain amount of stock photos, and you can trust us to ensure that all of the images we use comply with current copyright laws.