I want to run a website like stock photos. How can I be sure that the uploader is real copyright holder of the picture? Is it possible to leave the responsibility of this copyright claim to the uploader or at least the webmaster is responsible for the website content?

It generally confuses me, as for example, stock photo websites need a form signed by the model for photos showing a person's face. How they can be sure that the signature actually belongs to the model? How they stay safe from possible lawsuit in this case (e.g. if selling photos of a model with a fake signature?)

  • Clearly it depends on the law in each country. But Facebook, Google, Yahoo do allow upload of photos in public galleries but their legal terms vary country to country.
    – AgA
    Dec 14 '12 at 18:11

Yes, most stock photography websites disclaim all liability related to third party content. This appears in multiple parts of the terms of service (indemnification, limitation of liability, user representations). If you're in the U.S., make sure to comply with DMCA safe harbors and add that language to your TOS as well.


Without looking, I'd bet it's in their TOS where uploading is their agreement that they are guaranteeing they own the rights and, if any legal problems arise, the uploader takes full responsibility.

  • This is indeed my question. Is it enough? Just noting this in TOS will keep them away from possible lawsuits? OR they are after all the official owner of the business and they are responsible for the contents.
    – Googlebot
    Dec 14 '12 at 3:27
  • @Prasad - Don't be adding to my answer under my signature. Answer it yourself under your own name.
    – Rob
    Dec 14 '12 at 16:57

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