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Can I use other people's craigslist photos in my listings?

San Jose, CA |

Also can they report me for copyright if they're selling counterfeit goods?

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Attorney answers 3


You would need to read the "Terms of Use" Agreement on Craigslist. If the photos are deemed to be the property of the posted, than it doesn't seem that you would be able to use them without being in breach of the agreement. If they are selling counterfeit goods, they in violation of federal laws, and you wouldn't want to be involved in that. The best practice is to take photos of the goods you are selling and post those. However, if you are selling counterfeit goods, you would be in violation of federal laws. If you do use a photo that is not of the actual item you are selling, it is best to state that.

Disclaimer: Ms. Kermani is an attorney licensed to practice in California. This post does not constitute legal advice, should not be relied upon as such, and does not create an attorney client relationship. Since each solution is fact specific, please consult an attorney and provide them with all the facts and documents at issue. Only then can you receive legal advice tailored to your specific situation.


No. You need to use your own photos of your own items. You have a smartphone, right? What's the problem? Why would you want to steal someone else's property and risk legal trouble. The photo other people use is probably stolen, too. You should assume it is, as that is usually the case. I commend you for asking so that you can do the right thing.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.


It depends what you are doing with the photos. Generally, all photos are the copyrights of whoever took them, and the person depicted also has a right of publicity to their image, name, and likeness. So you are potentially violating at least two kinds of legal rights of another. Although CL's Terms of Use is relevant, it is highly unusual for websites to claim exclusive rights to any media, so you likely wouldn't be liable to CL, you'll just be liable to the person whose photo you used.

If you are making fun of the photos or commenting on them for some transformative purpose, that might be a defense to infringement and ROP invasion. But if you are using them to pretend they represent you, or to get people to respond, that won't qualify, and could also be grounds for fraud.

Note: this not legal advice, so don't rely on it, and I am not your lawyer unless you hire me. Good luck.