Recently had to deal with an issue with a business client. He has a website for his business, providing services, for which he was adding content. He needed a photo graph to illustrate a concept on the topic discussed.
He used a search engine to search for images, found one that illustrated the concept to illustrate the article, and downloaded it to his website.
No problem, eh?
Well, yes. Because the photo he found was a photograph off of a stock photo website. Whether he found it there or found it already downloaded by someone else did not matter. The stock photo company sent him a letter threatening to sue if he did not pay them for the use. And the fee was many times greater than the normal stock photo license fee.
This is why you should not download photos from the internet and put them on your own website. Stock photo agencies deliberately allow photos to be seen by the public. They have programs that search the internet looking for images with their codes embedded in them. They then send demand letters – to which the Copyright Act entitles them.
If you need illustrations for your website, either use photographs or images you have created, or purchase a photo or image from the many low cost providers of such.
Make sure you read the license for the image and that your use is consistent with that license.