Newsquest’s editorial development director Toby Granville has urged the group’s journalists not to take pictures from the internet without permission.
In a memo circulated around the group he said: “Copyright claims against Newsquest are growing exponentially and are bringing real cost to the business in every region.”
In it he said: “Unless you are satisfied that we own the copyright or we are licensed for the particular use you are contemplating, or there is a legal defence available, or there are other special circumstances (which you should discuss with your editor), then don’t use it.”
He said: “Never simply find a picture on Google (or elsewhere on the internet or from any other source) and use it to illustrate a story without first considering whether you have the lawful right to use it or a sound legal defence…
“There are plenty of free stock pictures available – for instance, www.pixabay.com is a source of copyright-free stock pictures for commercial use not requiring attribution.”