Whether you’re adding photographs to your ministry’s website or creating a bulletin or brochure, keep in mind that copyright laws protect most creative works. Using images, music, video, and other artistic works that you find through an Internet search may make your ministry legally responsible for copyright infringement, even if a copyright symbol or notice is not displayed.
Even if your ministry has a general license to use songs, videos, and movie clips, the license isn't likely to authorize the use of photos or images.
To avoid fines and legal fees involved with copyright infringement, find the original source of the image and obtain the owner’s permission to use it. Discovering the original owner of the image is sometimes difficult, especially when the website that’s hosting the image may not have permission to use it. If you aren’t able to locate the owner of an image and receive permission to use it, you’re better off not using the image.
Even if your ministry has a general license to use songs, videos, and movie clips, the license isn’t likely to authorize the use of photos or images. In addition, images labeled royalty-free may not be free from any cost. Generally, purchasing a license to use such images is still required.
Read the complete Brotherhood Mutual article: Take Care When Using Internet Images.
*Important information: Brotherhood Mutual is pleased to provide Legal Assist as a complimentary resource. The services we offer through Legal Assist are intended to provide general legal information to our current and prospective policyholders.
The information we provide is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. Accordingly, no attorney/client relationship is created through this process, and no legal advice will be provided. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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