If I run a “reCommerce” web business and need images for my products, can I use pictures from other websites?

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If I run a “reCommerce” web business and need images for my products, can I use pictures from other websites?

Since I don’t stock inventory I have no images of some of my products. My question is that since I am not selling anything on my website, is using images from other websites fair-use since I am not using the image to make profit but rather as reference for a customer to use.

Asked on April 26, 2015 under Business Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

First, you *are* using the images to "make profit": if they help attract business, help customers order from you (i.e. as a reference), etc., they are helping you get sales, so there is a commercial purpose.

Second, even if you were not making a profit, you have no right to use another's trademarked or copyrighted images without their permission. You can ask the manufacturers or distributors for permission to use their images, but if you use them without permission, you are violating copyright and/or trademark and could be sued.


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