Image Copyright

All the images on the ZFolio Website are copyrighted. Any image unlawfully used must be removed and each occurrence is subject to a $400 penalty.

What is copyright infringement?
Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. Examples of imagery infringement include:
  • Use of whole or part of an image without permission
  • Use beyond the scope of a license or permission
  • Adapting an image without permission (art rendering)
  • Asking another photographer to recreate the image
  • Actual copying without permission

Who is responsible when infringements occur?
Responsible parties may include:
  • The company that directly infringed, even if unintentionally
  • Employees or individuals who participated in the infringement
  • Anyone who published the infringing image, whether they had knowledge or not
  • Anyone who authorized or encouraged infringement
If a third-party designer, employee, contractor or intern designed and developed your company's website, you are responsible to ensure they have licensed images for your use.

Is an infringement matter resolved after image removal?
Removal of copyrighted images from your site alone does not settle the issue. We still require payment for the past use.

Unintentional Use: What if I wasn't aware that I was using copyrighted materials?
Copyright infringement can occur regardless of knowledge or intent. Anyone who copies, publicly displays or publicly distributes a photograph without permission, infringes the copyright whether they were aware that the use was infringing or not.

I found images via a search engine and there were no watermarks or notices of copyright. Can't I use content that I source via this method?
The ability to view content via search engine results or other internet searches does not mean that the content is not protected by copyright. Nor does it mean that permission to use content has been granted. Most search engines warn that the content displayed within the search results may be subject to copyright. Copyright exists the moment a work, including a photograph, is created. Watermarks or notices of copyright are not a requirement for copyright protection.

What is copyright?
Copyright is a form of protection provided by the laws of the United States to the authors of "original works of authorship." By virtue of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, works are protected in all 160 countries that are party to the Convention.

When does copyright begin?
From the time it is created, a photo or other image is automatically protected by copyright.

What are common misconceptions about copyright?
  • If an image is on the internet, it's in the public domain and I don't need permission to use it.
  • If there's no copyright notice on the image, I don't need permission to use it.
  • If I don't profit from the use, I don't need permission.
  • If I alter the image X%, I don't need permission.
  • If I don't use the entire image, I don't need permission.
  • If I remove the image after notice, I don't owe any money to the copyright owner.
  • If I can download it, I can use it without permission.

What rights do copyright owners control?
Copyright owners control the rights to:
  • Make copies of the work
  • Distribute copies of the work
  • Perform the work publicly (such as for plays, film or music)
  • Display the work publicly (such as for artwork or any material used on the internet or television)
  • Make derivative works (including making modifications, adaptations or other new uses of a work, or translating the work to another media)

Are there limitations on a copyright owner's rights?
"Fair Use" or "Fair Dealing" doctrine allows limited copying of copyrighted works for certain purposes, including education and research. These limited uses do not require permission from the copyright owner. Whether a particular use is a fair use depends on the facts of each case. Since allowable uses can vary by country, it's wise to seek independent legal advice before using any copyrighted material without permission.

Are the images that I used registered with the U.S. Copyright Office?
Copyright exists the moment a photograph is created, and copyright registration is not a requirement of copyright ownership.

How can I find out more about Copyright Law?
For US copyright law, please visit the United States Copyright Office website:
For general concepts and international treaties, please visit the World Intellectual Property Organization website:

How are the unauthorized usage fees calculated?
Settlement demands are based on the fair market value of a license, taking into consideration usage, size, placement, duration and territory.

Additional Topics

How can I ensure that the imagery on my site is properly licensed, especially if someone else created my company's website?
If a third-party designer, employee, contractor or intern designed and developed your company's website, you are responsible to ensure they have licensed images for your use. If no valid licenses exist, the liability of any infringement ultimately falls on the company (the end client) who used the image.

For more information contact:
ZFolio Web Development
1685 Copenhagen Drive
Solvang, CA 93463