It has been brought to my attention that one of my images, GPCR in a phospholipid bilayer, has been in use by several commercial sites without my permission. The image I currently have on my site has a logo watermark across the entire image, so where these companies got an unmarked image is puzzling.
In the past I gave an unmarked image and usage rights to a professor at a university who wanted to use it in a presentation for a biology class. I was paid for that usage and was told I’d be given credit for it so I thought nothing of it after that. Did these come from there somehow? I don’t know.
Here’s one culprit identified: Creative BioMart. I couldn’t find it on their page currently, but it was there on February 11 when someone saw it and notified me. Just now I did a Google image search with “GPCR creative biomart” and here it is!
Another culprit brought to my attention, North Coast Bio. They had it displayed with 7TM receptors on their site a few days ago. Today their site is under construction, but this appeared in Google image search:
There is a chance I posted this image to either this site or my portfolio site years ago after I created it and didn’t have a watermark on it, but that doesn’t give free reign to take and use it for their commercial products. I am currently investigating this and I will be talking with some people to see what I can do about it. At the very least I’d like it taken down from their sites, or they can ask my permission and pay to continue using it.
There is also a chance other images of mine are out there being used without my knowledge or permission and I may never know, but I can at least try to do something about this one.
A PSA to those out there reading this and thinking of using an image found on Google for your commercial products – DON’T. Unless you find the original creator and ask for specific permission to use that image for a specific purpose. There is a high probability you will need to pay for that usage. Otherwise you risk legal action and fees.