From author Roni Loren:
Like most of you, I’m a casual blogger and learned my way into blogging by watching others. And one of the things I learned early on was that a post with a photo always looked nicer than one with just text. So I looked at what other people were doing for pictures. And mostly it seemed that everyone was grabbing pics from Google Images and pasting them on their sites. Sometimes with attribution, most of the time without.
. . . .
Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic. A significant chunk of money that I couldn’t afford. I’m not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didn’t have for a use of a photo I didn’t need.
Link to the rest at Roni Loren and thanks to Kat for the tip.
Fair use covers pulling excerpts from works other people have written. Fair use also covers photographs. The problem is that most people don’t want an excerpt from a photo, they want the entire photo.
Google’s image search makes it pretty simple for a photographer to search the web for places where his/her photos have been used.
One of the ways to use photos that PG has blogged previously about is to search for Creative Commons images.