Computer image browsing

Our work ethics with regard to images stolen from the web

Every time a client provides us with images or visuals to be used in web or print projects, we ask the following questions:

  1. Do you own those images?
  2. If not, where do they come from and have you acquired the rights to use them from their author(s)? (royalty fees purchased directly from the photographer or from an online stock photo database).

If the answers to both of the questions above are NO, we advise our client to either provide us with visuals for which they have purchased the rights, or we suggest that we search and find similar visuals from online stock photo databases.

Why refusing to work with “stolen” visuals?

All works, whatever their value, are protected by the CopA (Copyright Act). Works are literary and artistic intellectual creations with an individual character, irrespective of their value or purpose:

They include, in particular:

  • texts;
  • photos;
  • drawings;
  • layouts;
  • musical compositions;
  • etc.

Consequences of a copyright infringement

Consequences under the Civil Law

Art. 62 al.1 CopA states that any person whose copyright or related right is infringed or threatened may request the court to prohibit the imminent infringement or to remedy an existing infringement.

Besides those defensive measures, the author or person whose work or image was used without his/her permission may also claim damages, satisfaction, and handing over of profits.

Criminal provisions

Art. 67 al.1 CopA states that any person who wilfully and unlawfully commits any of the following acts is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding one year or a monetary penalty (day-fine of CHF 1 to 3’000.- for 1 to 350 days – art. 34 CP):

  • uses a work under a false designation or a designation that differs from that decided by the author;
  • publishes a work;
  • modifies a work;
  • uses a work to create a derivative work.

Useful links

FREE Online photo databases

We suggest that you pay attention to the type of license that each visual offers. Some pictures may not be copyright-free for commercial use but for private use only. Sometimes, attribution is required.

Low-cost online photo databases