Whenever you look for a photograph on Google Images, you're admonished that the image that you're about to use may be protected by copyright--i.e. be careful because you may not have the right to embed this picture on your blog (or whatever).
You'd think that Google would have the best understanding of what images are and are not fair game. But apparently not.
Google is being sued by the estate of Jim Marshall, the late rock photographer whose portfolio contains some amazing images of many of the biggest names in rock history. Why? Well, it's complicated. The Hollywood Reporter tries to explain what happened with a shot of Jimi Hendrix used for the launch of Google Music.
[Thierry "Mr. Brainwash"] Guetta is a pop artist who works in the legally controversial domain of "appropriation art." He often takes images he finds, photocopies them, and then makes some alterations—sometimes by using bright colors, other times by doing things like piecing together thousands of broken phonographic records onto his image...
...Google is also being sued for copyright infringement for using the alleged Mr. Brainwash work as backdrops to its announcement last November of its Google Music service. The plaintiff says that Google used "huge blow-ups" of the images and it attaches in its complaint an image that ran in the Los Angeles Times as proof.
Oops. Read more here.