Can the owner of a copyrighted picture sue a blog for using it without permission? 2 Answers as of November 15, 2010

I run a blog. It is small, and I am not making any money off it. Legally, can I post pictures that I find on the web on my blog as long as I link to the source? If someone does not want their picture on my site, can they sue me even if I take the picture down?

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Fish & Associates, PC
Fish & Associates, PC | Robert D. Fish
Infringement is infringement. In general, if you have no permission to use the image, then such use is infringement. There is a "fair use" defense, but that very well may not apply.

On the other hand, from a practical standpoint you might be able to keep using the image indefinitely. Although copyright attaches when an author reduces an original work to a tangible medium of expression, (i.e., paper, or computer image), the copyright owner cannot sue on that copyright until the copyright is registered with the copyright office. Generally, if the infringement commenced before the date of registration, the only remedies are are (1) injunctive relief (i.e., the infringer is told to stop) and (2) actual damages (which are probably very to prove). For such infringement, the really strong remedies of statutory damages and attorneys fees are not available.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2010
Mark S. Hubert PC
Mark S. Hubert PC | Mark Hubert
There Is automatic copyright protection in the US since 1976. Get permission before you post anothers photographs on your website. If they have registered their work of art they can sue you for statutory damages which is likely what they would do since your posting of their picture probably does them no actual harm.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/15/2010
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