In the age of the Internet, image theft is commonplace and easier than ever. It’s estimated that intellectual property (IP) theft in the U.S. costs between $225 billion and $600 billion every year. That may seem like a staggering sum, until you realize that over 3.2 billion images are shared online every day and an estimated 70% are used without a license or permission.
The Internet is AMAZING for verbal and visual expression. But increased ease of content sharing has given rise to the misconception that everything online is free for the taking—even photos. Love it or hate it (or love to hate it), most photos on the Internet are copyrighted, and using a copyrighted photo without permission is theft.