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Before you copy that image from Google....

Copying photos is illegal as they are protected by copyright. It is only OK to use photos you have taken yourself.

9 February 2021

I'm sure you'd agree that as sellers on Trade Me, we all want to make our listings look pretty and professional.

And, what better way to do this than running a quick Google image search, and borrowing an image from the pros.


Well you can’t do this and here’s why…

Those images look professional, because they are. Popular brands like OPI, Nike and Samsung have most likely paid to have them created.

This means that they now own the copyright over them, and can control how they are used.

Copyright arises automatically in original works, and can cover things like drawings, art, photos and text.

If you ’borrow' an image off Google without permission or authorisation, you could be breaching someone’s copyright.

Trade Me operates an intellectual property programme where we work with around 800 brands, rights holders and their lawyers on a daily basis.

If a rights holder gets in touch with us about your use of their copyright material, and we agree with their position, we’ll have to remove any copyright material from your listing, or remove it entirely.

This is why we recommend using your own images and writing your own text as the best course of action. Also, using your own detailed photos is a great way to avoid disputes with buyers.

If you advertise your products honestly and accurately, you’re way less likely to end up in the Dispute Tribunal.

There’s no register for copyright in New Zealand like there is in America, so we understand that copyright can be a bit of a grey area.

To get more info, we recommend you check out the Intellectual Property Office’s information on copyright and the Copyright Council of New Zealand’s FAQs.

If you’re an intellectual property rights holder, and you think your copyright is being infringed, make sure you get in touch – we have the IP Liaison programme for these very issues.