Hey Wait! I Paid For That Picture…. Why is My Competitor Using It?
It was the cornerstone image for their business ad campaign. It was stunning. It was posted to their Facebook/Instagram and within a day, a staff member noticed a competitor had cropped their logo and call to action and used the image for free on their homepage. Yikes!
When you post your valuable images, either purchased or your originals, you may want to consider where you are posting them and whether you are okay with them being used by others.
Original pictures are copyright protected until they are in the public domain. Social media platforms have consent rules so check the terms and conditions. The owner of a picture can decide how it is allowed to be shared on social media. Permission to share is not the same as permission to copy and paste.
The copyright owner can demand the platform to remove the picture if it was copied. They may also send a cease and desist letter, or demand money. Non-commercial uses are more likely to qualify as fair use than commercial so make sure you check before copying an image found online for ads.