Just because you can search Google Images or other photography sites and find images online that might look good on your website, doesn’t mean you have the rights to use them on your website.
I’ve run into clients and prospects who are under the misguided assumption that images on the web are free for the taking. Not so. In fact, if the stock photography companies find that your site is using pirated images you could be fined hundreds or thousands of dollars. And they will find you. I’ve had clients who have loaded images onto their website (that were unknowingly pirated from an online source) and eventually they get a call from Comstock or some other Stock photo house demanding payment for the use of their image.
Always make sure that you have the right to use images that you place on your website (or any marketing materials). There are many royalty free stock photos you can purchase for use on your website for fairly low cost. IStockphoto.com is one that we use frequently to purchase stock photography.
Music is another component that people like to pirate. It is not legal to use a song you’ve purchased and downloaded onto your IPod as background music for a video you post to YouTube. Sorry. SoundDogs.com is a good source for music and sound effects.
I don’t have to tell anyone that it’s plagiarism to copy text from another site. Do I?