X17 Inc., a Los Angeles photo agency known for its images of stars in personal or embarrassing moments, has filed a $7.6 million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against celebrity blogger Perez Hilton. The lawsuit claims that the PerezHilton.com celebrity gossip website used 51 photographs without permission, payment or credit and X17 co-owner Brandy Navarre is quoted as saying “We’ve had trouble with a lot of bloggers”.
Yikes! $7.6 million? That’s a whole lot of AdSense clicks…
The best way to avoid ending up in court is to use royalty free images or images licensed under creative commons. Sure there may not be any pics of Britney Spears badly wrapped kebab but at least you won’t end up in court.
You could also take the novel approach of the Australian cricket blog, The Ashes Blog. After they were threatened with legal action for using copyright images, they decided to re-enact key moments from games in someones back garden.
Assuming that this approach is too much like hard work, here’s a list of free and low-cost photo resources that you might like to use. If you have any more, can you add them via the comments box?