Content creators are producing an exponentially increasing amount of content on a daily basis, and often this will involve the use of licensed images on their content.
The types of licenses associated with such images may be either paid or unpaid, and they may be for commercial or non-commercial use. What is most important, though, is that the content creators are using the images according to the terms of the license.
For example, certain licenses require that there is credit given to the creator of the image – this requirement is called attribution. Where content creators are using images without providing required attribution, they may be in violation of copyright protections afforded to the copyright owner of the licensed image. Copyright owners have various protections under copyright law, so the next time someone says, “Don’t take images you find on Google and then throw them onto your website,” we should believe them. After all, Google Images states, “Images may be subject to copyright.” whenever you preview an image found in the search results.
While copyright owners may be entitled to their rights, there is also a growing concern over copyright owners that may be misusing or abusing copyright enforcement mechanisms to the disproportionate detriment of content creators. Are the copyright owners or the enforcement services copyright trolls? This depends on whether the alleged copyright infringement actually occurred among other factors.