Using photos on social media and web sites and copyright

This important information from the Churches Legislative Advisory Service (CLAS) should be a warning for all churches and ministries about using appropriate photographic images on web sites and social media or face a potential penalty:
Churches Together in England reports that a new website for a local Churches Together group has accidentally used a photograph that looked like one of their own but was, in fact, from a photographic stock library. The stock library in question has an automatic mechanism (called a ‘bot’) which trawls the Internet looking for an electronic tag on the individual stock image. If the image is not covered by a copyright licence, a letter will arrive from the stock library agent to the local web manager requesting payment. In this case, the Churches Together group was sent a letter claiming copyright infringement and an invoice for £305.
We have mentioned this issue before, but it bears repeating. Anyone using web images on a blog, website, image gallery, online PowerPoint presentation or in any other way must ensure that their use does not infringe someone’s copyright. Either the images used must be covered by the Creative Commons Licence – as, for example, the images on Wikimedia Commons – or the appropriate fee must be paid to the copyright holder.
Alternatively, if you need, eg, pictures of your church building, take them yourself.
[Source: Churches Together in England – 6 November]

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