Photographs and other graphics are important elements of many commercial websites.
The internet abounds with photographs that appear to be free for the taking. Many website developers simply search for and copy photographs (and other graphics) that fit their site.
But a recent Fourth Circuit decision, Brammer v. Violent Hues Productions, LLC (4th Cir. 2019), stands as a warning that commercial websites are expected to pay a license fee for use of a photograph, and in almost all cases, such use will not be excused as a “fair use.”
Caution thus must be used before appropriating photographs or other graphics, as they may well be protected by copyright, and their copying and use will constitute infringement.