Thinking of Using a Stock Image as a Logo?

Ignorance is Not Always Bliss When Faced with Copyright Infringement

copyright-logo-nonoI purchase stock photos most every day. I use them to build websites, photo galleries and to insert into blog posts for both my own site and my clients. There are a ton of different stock photo sites to choose from, but almost all forbid you from using a stock photo for the purpose of a logo. Depending on the license you purchased, which most often is for a single seat, you (and ONLY you/your company) can use this image in an unlimited fashion. The restrictions are usually that if you are using it for print, no more than 250,000 runs per license.

Yet buried in the fine print of the license agreement that you are bound to once you purchased the image, you’ll see the clause that these images (photos, illustrations, etc.) cannot be used in the form a logo.

So before you rush to print the cool little cat vector art you found at your favorite stock photo site onto your brand new business cards, think again.

And if you choose to use this same artwork on your website, be aware that many stock photo sites have a tool that scans the billions of sites that amass the Internet looking for unauthorized or improper use of the image they own the rights to.

Sure, you can throw caution to the wind and hope no one finds out. But if they do, be prepared to receive a settlement request, often in the thousands of dollars and if you don’t settle, you’ll find yourself facing a copyright infringement lawsuit.

There is one membership stock site we are aware of (Graphic Stock) that will let you use their images in the form of a logo, as long as you change it up a bit. This can mean adding your company name or changing the colors, etc.

Ignorance is not bliss. When in doubt, read the license Agreement or call the stock photo company directly.

Contact Us

Webeze, LLC
6803 E. Main Street
Unit 2212
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Tel: 480-862-7600
Fax: 480-452-0965