Images in marketing collateral are an important part of selling a business. After all, a picture can say a thousand words. However, unless a business broker has taken the required photos him or herself, or received permission from the person who did, the image is subject to someone else’s copyright.

Copyright gives the owner of the image, say a photo of a cup of coffee, a legal interest in the image. The law then protects the owner’s legal interest so that it can’t be copied … well at least not legally.

The unauthorised use of an image would result in a copyright breach, which in turn has the possibility of exposing a business broker, their firm and their client to legal claim, fines, cost, headache and embarrassment. A pre-paid marketing campaign can be rendered useless by a copyright infringement claim over one single image (say of that cup of coffee).

There are options for business brokers who don’t have the time, or inclination, to take the photos themselves. Many websites offering “stock photos” charge a small fee to use images legally and without concern of recourse. A small financial output could potentially save headache and thousands in the future for the unauthorised use of copyrighted images. Just be careful to read and understand the fine print on how the image may be used!

Author

Joe Kafrouni
Legal Practitioner Director
Kafrouni Lawyers

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