Creatives Admit to Image Theft Without Remorse

Posted on 12/18/2009 by Julia Dudnik Stern | Printable Version | Comments (0)

It is not just the general public’s right-click-and-save mentality image producers and agencies need to worry about. While stock-photo professionals assume that those employed in creative jobs are at least conversant with copyright, a new Deutsche Telekom survey revealed that nearly half (44%) of marketing, public relations and publishing professionals think that a royalty-free image is an image that can be used without payment. Worse yet, 37% of respondents admitted having used images illegally by swiping them off the Internet.

The survey was conducted in November by Deutsche Telecom’s microstock business Polylooks, launched last September. The territory was limited to the United Kingdom, so linguistic difficulties cannot explain why only 21% of responding creative professionals understand the meaning of “royalty-free.” An even more pitiful 16.5% correctly defined “rights-managed.” 

Despite their lack of knowledge of how to legally use images, Polylooks’ survey confirmed that these same creative professionals have control over image-buying budgets. On a monthly basis, 44% legally download one to five pictures; 7% buy more than 11 images; and 5% spend over £100 on stock. Yet over 81% said they have used an image without paying for it and did not feel guilty.

Polylooks product manager Norbert Weber thinks this is a terminology problem. “Many people who should be paying for the right to use images are not doing so due to a lack of understanding on industry rules and terminologies. Some 85% of creative professionals are not familiar with the term ‘microstock’, which presents stock image providers like Polylooks with a challenge. Is it time we redefined what we offer?” Weber asks.

Copyright © 2009 Julia Dudnik Stern. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


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