Copyrighted images that are not legally cleared for use on the web ?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  anders 5 months, 1 week ago.

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    Full Member
    Post count: 121


    I have a general question regarding directory sites that is not specifically related to WP Geodirectory (which of course is the base of the site we are building).

    When opening up for users to publish images on a public site, is there any smart way to deal with the fact that people could be posting copyrighted images that are not legally cleared for use on the web?
    10 years ago we successfully run a directory site but on one occasion we were sued because a “random” user had posted an expensive image that was not cleared.

    I would really appreciate any comments, insights or experiences on this



    Alex Rollin
    Post count: 27815

    We are not lawyers and this should not be construed as legal advice. For legal help you should contact an attorney.

    I recommend you add conditions to your site’s terms and conditions having to do with the responsibilities of listings owners/authors for images and other creative works used in listings.


    Full Member
    Post count: 121

    Thank you Alex,

    Yes, I will definitely include some text concerning this.

    But in the end I guess it’s the site-owner that will get sued either way.
    I’m fully aware that you can not give any legal advise but you must have run into similar situations over the years?
    Maybe there needs to be some text on every page with info about who uploaded the current image? Seems like valid questions for every site owner before launching a directory site?
    …we have even considered skipping images uploaded by users completely but it would probably risk becoming a boring site



    Full Member
    Post count: 375

    This is not to be considered legal advice but I agree with what Alex said above. You also should provide in those Terms and Conditions a mechanism for copyright holders to contact you about an image so you can have it removed. Most people use a dedicated “” email address. I do not think that you would need to post a warning on each page.

    Current law in the US broadly states that you are responsible for what your users post to your site. If you feel that the majority of your users are posting copyrighted images then remove their right to post. I would think that most users are posting images they take themselves and your terms and conditions should make it clear that they are giving you the right to display those images.

    Here is some background material:

    And yes I used to be a lawyer. But again consult your own attorney for specific advice about your situation.


    Full Member
    Post count: 121

    Thank you justmark!

    Very useful info there, I really appreciate it!

    …yes, I think 99% of the users will only post images that they own but I would like to be prepared somehow for the ones that don’t care or know about copyrights. I fear that the expensive image libraries will not settle for a warning even if the image is removed directly.
    I guess there is no waterproof solution to this…be clear about what images are allowed then fingers crossed that users will behave 😉

    any further comments on this are most welcome

    Thanks again!

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