It’s amazing how many people think it’s OK to steal your work and then use it on their own websites. Most of my work is licensed under a Creative Commons licence to allow people to use it for non-commercial purposes, as long as I am credited.
Some of my work is licensed through Getty Images, and that can only be used by paying the relevant license fee.
I spent some time recently tracking down people who have been stealing my images, and requesting that they either (a) provide me with evidence that they have indeed licensed my work, or (b) attaching an invoice for the license fee and requesting that they pay in order to ensure that they are fully licensed going forward.
The results of those investigations – three users just removed the image from their site, one is looking into how it happened and will report back, one has been very apologetic and we have agreed that they can continue to use the image but with credits, and one has just ignored me completely. Unfortunately the one who ignored me is hosted in Mexico, so I can’t enforce the provisions of the US DMCA to take down the image.
So far, nobody has felt that the correct course of action is to pay the photographer a fee to use his copyrighted work.
I’d be interested to hear other peoples experiences in this matter!