If you have a personal Facebook or Tumblr page, you’re used to illustrating your posts with pics you find from the Internet or that you scan from a magazine. You assume that you can do the same thing with the web design of your business. That’s a big mistake.

Pictures, whether in a magazine or on the Internet, are protected by copyright law. If you copy such images for personal use, most copyright holders will look the other way, even though they don’t like it. However, once you start using their work for commercial use, you need permission. Otherwise, you’ll be violating the law – your site can be shut down and your business can be sued.

Sometimes, you can get permission for free simply by asking the copyright holder and by acknowledging him in the credits. However, in most cases, you may need to pay a fee based on how you’ll use the picture and how many people will see it, which can get quite expensive.

One way around this is to take your own pictures. But unless you’re a professional, your pictures may look amateurish and convey that your business is not very professional. You can also get images for a low price from many stock photography places like iPhoto or ShutterStock. These images will be beautifully done but may not specifically relate to your company.

You can also hire us to create your website and fill it with both text and image content. As part of our service, we make sure that you have the proper rights for everything we put on your site.