Copyright notice on purchased image?

I’m doing a website as a freebie for a family member. It’s promoting his business, it’s a small web site - a brochure kind of thing. He’s also bartered his services to a graphic design company for some images. I just got a bunch of them today to add to the site.

All the images have copyright notices with the graphic artist’s business name in the bottom right corner. Not huge, but not tiny either.

I’m a little peeved with this, but not sure if I should be. First off, the big reason I have a problem with it is that I think that it makes the site look like this other company, which also does web design (though not as a main focus of their business) did the whole site. I myself don’t have a logo on the site, mainly because I’m really not in the business of doing brochure-like web sites and don’t want to drum up more business like that (I mostly work on much more complex web sites), but also because I don’t think it’s right to advertise MY business on someone else’s website, at least not without some sort of agreement in place (“I’ll give you a 5% discount if I can put a link to my business.”) Still, I don’t want someone else getting credit for my work, and I think it does look that way with his name splattered all over the images.

Second, I’ve also worked with lots of stock photos, and I’ve never seen copyright notices embedded in the design, even if they are copyrighted. You buy the rights to use the pic, and you just use it. If you don’t have the rights, they figure it out and come after you.

So… am I within my rights to say “take those copyright notices off?” In my mind, my family member did pay for them. It was a barter agreement, so no money changed hands, but he did provide work for free in exchange for the images, and I’m pretty sure the work my family member provided is worth more than the graphics. I’m pretty sure family member will go along with my advice, so what’s the right thing to do here?

When I provide images for hire I always remove my copyright notices and ask for a photo credit to be added somewhere on the page. If they don’t provide the photo credit I’m fine with that too.

Of course it’s okay for you to request that the logos be removed from the images. They may comply with no question. It’s also okay for them to say no way. But at least you asked.

Why not just remove the logos yourself?

That would be a big no-no.

Start by asking your family member (the site owner) if the copyright notice topic was discussed when they made their barter deal. Explain to him /her the implications and have him/her take it up with the graphic artist. it’s not your place to deal directly on this.
And no, it’s never appropriate to remove a copyright notice from a work & then post it publicly.

Why not, if you paid for it?

It’s not a loaf of bread. We don’t know the terms under which the images were licensed. They may not allow the removal of the copyright notice.

For the same reason you can’t buy a book, then take the text and re-publish it as your own. In most cases, you only buy the rights to reproduce the image on your site, not to re-sell it or change it in any way.