DO NOT EVER, EVER use photographs that are not yours or whom you have not received written permission from the photographer (not necessarily the blog author). I received an e-mail yesterday morning stating that I had infringed on a copyright and was being billed hundreds of dollars.
The photo is one that I used from another blog months ago, whom I credited and linked back to. I (wrongly) assumed that the photographer of the said photo was the blog author whom I linked to. This was not the case. The other blog must have gotten the photo from somewhere else and the copyright was infringed upon in that instance as well.
When I received this e-mail, I was so distraught. I immediately called my husband and started bawling. I felt as though I was being accused for a crime I did not commit (or at least not knowingly). Being called a thief was a humbling experience, to say the least, and something I wish NEVER to be called again.
I responded with an extremely humble apology in both an e-mail and a phone call and offered to pay a portion of the cost. I said that I would never knowingly steal someone else’s property and that I am so very sorry.
Her response was downright mean and likened me to walking into someone’s house and stealing.
Wow. More tears.
I paid a hefty penalty, to say the least.
To save any of you from the emotional and financial stress of such a situation, just take my word for it. Use only original photographs, non-copyrighted photographs with whom you have written permission to use, or stock photos you have purchased. Trust me…