Final’ish Thoughts On Unsplash · DEDPXL

TL:DR – There’s a massive liability issue with Unsplash and sites like it. Photographers are getting taken advantage of. Conde Nast doesn’t even say “Thank you.” People are just one good lawsuit away from the whole thing taking a nose dive.

Here’s my follow up to the Unsplash topic I’ve been talking with folks about for a few weeks. If you think this is long… I edited twenty minutes OUT of the thing! Hit me up in the comments for more discussion.


The Full Statement from attorney, Carolyn E. Wright

“Proceed with caution with dealing with Unsplash. Photographers who contribute photos there may find themselves in a lawsuit for a variety of reasons. While an end user clearly has the responsibility to secure permission for a commercial use of a photo of a recognizable person (as evidenced by a model release), stock agencies and photographers have been sued for right of privacy/right of publicity claims when posting and/or offering for licensing photos of people.

End users/publishers who use photos from Unsplash may be subject to liability and damages in several ways. For example, because copyright infringement is strict liability, publishers may infringe if the photos were uploaded and then used without the copyright owner’s permission. Trademark owners may have a trademark infringement claim against the photographer and/or end user if the product photo causes confusion as to the source of the product or dilutes the trademark.

An attorney representing an aggrieved party likely will sue the publisher, Unsplash, and the photographer to increase odds of recovering damages for these claims. Therefore, the “free” element of Unsplash may ultimately cost you more than when using a traditional license model.”


GDPR pdf regarding Street Photography that I mentioned in the video. This is a really interesting read and it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out in real life.


Lastly… Would I upload images to unsplash? I’ve thought about it. Would it lead to something? Would my participating in the site “open my eyes” to the benefits? Could I find my cheese? What do you all think?


Zack Arias

A full time commercial and editorial photographer, Zack shoots everything from bands to CEOs to ad campaigns. A gifted teacher and communicator, he has an uncanny ability to meet and connect with all types of people.

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