Content Marketing, Publishing

Google Makes Public Domain Images Look Like Stock Photography, And That’s a Problem

In 2007, famed photographer Carol M. Highsmith donated her entire lifetime archive to the Library of Congress. Years later, Highsmith discovered that stock photography company Getty Images had been charging licensing fees for the use of these public domain images, without her consent. And so she filed a lawsuit for $1 billion, claiming copyright violations and alleging gross misuse and false attribution of nearly 19,000 photographs. The courts did not side with her, but it was a high-profile case. Highsmith’s lawsuit is a cautionary tale, exemplifying the risks or challenges that arise for businesses when public domain images are treated

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