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Don’t be a copycat blogger

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You need a picture for your blog or for your Web site -- that's easy -- just go to Google and click on images. All you have to do is cut and paste. This simple mistake can cost you plenty. We recently received a demand letter for $1,299 for a picture that appeared on one of the back pages of our Web sites. The picture was of a woman speaking on the phone with a headset. It's similar to hundreds of others online. Unfortunately, a contract Web designer we hired used a copyrighted picture and did not obtain the appropriate license to use the picture. Upon receiving the letter, we immediately instructed our regular Web designer to remove the picture in question. I went to the Web site of the company that had contacted us and learned that the licensing fee for this picture was $550. Needless to say, I was shocked at the price they were asking and even more so by the idea that their damages were over double what it cost to license the photo. Since someone else actually used the ...