I recently read an extensive and well written article at StockPhotography.com. Here they explain in great details the reason buying images from stock photography sites will make your life so much easier. Furthermore, you will avoid diminishing the creative work of another artist and you will avoid the stiff penalties that can arise from what basically amounts to stealing another person's work.
Here are some of the main points the article makes:
- Pictures and images are property of their creator. Therefore, it cannot be taken or used without permission (even if it is so easy to do so in today's computer world).
- Copyright and Intellectual Property Rights were setup to encourage artist to be creative and continue to do their work knowing that it will be protected. Without these protections, artist would have little incentive to create new works of art.
- The Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides greater protection to digital images. An important part of the act criminalizes removal of digital elements (such as a digital watermark) added to an image to protect copyright.
- The maximum penalty for copyright infringement has recently been raised from $100,000 to $150,000 per infringement
- "Thinking that the worst thing that can happen to you if you "steal" an image is that you can be forced to pay what you would have had to pay anyway..."
- "Thinking, hey, let THEM prove I DIDN'T pay for the picture."
- "Thinking to yourself, 'Hey, I'll just use Photoshop to remove all these pesky little copyright identifiers on this picture. Who's gonna know?' "
- "Thinking, hey, I'm too "small potatoes" for anyone to care.