Copyright on the use of images: clarifications and rules

August 1, 2022

No, we are not a team of lawyers to scrutinize legal issues on this topic. However, it is a topic that needs (and A LOT) to be discussed when we talk about advertising, journalism, marketing and communication in general, especially with digital media and the ease of sharing images, illustrations and photos.

First of all, we need to clarify a very important point: copyright (which here applies to text and images, in general - by the way, the subject related to textual content will be addressed in a next post here) is different from image rights. The first is directly related to who has the right to use the images, with or without commercial purposes. For example, if a photographer takes several photos of an event, this professional can sell the copyright on those images to the person who hired him/her, which is what usually happens. In this way, the company or person responsible for the event is the one who can use them for the agreed purpose, giving or not credit to the author (it all depends, in this case, on the contractual arrangements).

When we talk about image rights, we are referring to the people who appear in them. Yes, it is the choice that each individual has about being photographed and filmed by third parties who will use these images for the most diverse purposes: commercials, television articles, photographs on portals, etc.

Well, what really matters is that copyright and image rights are very important and, if your company has already had problems with this (which can range from a direct message asking for exclusion to a lawsuit), let's list below some correct forms of use and copyright.

01 - Contact the rights holder

“Oh, but it is only for my company's networks”, Well, this sentence can cause immense damage. We have already seen cases of people and companies having problems for much less.

If, for some reason, your company does not have a paid image bank (some free bank options: Pixabay, Unsplash, StockSnap and Flickr), it is extremely necessary that you speak with the copyright holder.

That is, if you saw an image on Instagram, Facebook, networks, websites and the like and want to repost, click on it and see who owns the rights. Contact the person/company, have an agreement on guidelines and points and you are ready! You and your company can now use the image.    

02 - Give credits

If you want to use an image that is not in the public domain, but is in a bank or available in some medium for download, provided that the user, in the act of appropriation, credits the image to the author, mentioning the copyright holders. This way, you will not have any future problems.

It is good to remember that, unless the image is made available by the copyright holder by legal means, giving credit does not exempt the user from the obligation to ask for authorization. But this attitude exempts the company or profile from pretending to be the owner of the use, which already makes a big difference.

03 - Invest in copyrighted images

YES! This option is always the best and, in addition to saving you and your company from future problems, it makes the public have a lot more identification with your brand, because the photographs are, in fact, real.

Here, at MAVERICK 360, we always choose to use authorial images or the agency's paid image bank. These are guidelines that end up managing the code of ethics of the professions of communicators and, in addition, avoid several future inconveniences.

Remember that a good image bank for your business, made by a professional, is not a cost. It is an investment! The photographs generated in a daily capture are diverse and can be used for all media and channels.

Count on MAVERICK 360's expertise to ensure that your company will have no problems with copyright and right to use images. Contact us:

+55 41 99980-9009

+55 41 99954-7416


Sign up for our newsletter and receive only contents for your business to become a reference in the market.