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BizReport : Research archives : December 17, 2009

81% of marketers feel no guilt for using online images without paying

A lack of knowledge of industry rules and terminologies has led to more than a third of British marketing, PR and publishing professionals to use images found online illegally, according to a new survey from Deutsche Telekom's online photo agency,

by Helen Leggatt

Do you know what "royalty free" and "rights managed" means when it comes to the use of photography sourced online? If not, you're not alone. According to, only 21% of the 200 professionals surveyed were able to identify the meaning of "royalty free" and nearly half (44%) thought it meant they could use the images free of charge.

As for "rights managed", just 16.5% knew what it meant.

When you consider that most creative professionals have control of image-buying budgets, it's a bit scary.

"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," said Norbert Weber, Product Manager at Polylooks. "Some 85% of creative professionals are not familiar with the term 'microstock', which presents stock image providers like Polylooks with a challenge."

Additional findings from the survey include:

• 81.4% of creative professionals that have used an image without paying for it did not feel guilty

• 44% legally download between one and five pictures each month, while 7% buy more than 11 stock images each month

• Nearly half (48%) do not have a microstock image budget but 5% spend in excess of $160 each month on images.

Tags: marketing, online images, online photography, photo libraries, PR, publishing, rights managed, stock photography

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