So, I did not think this could happen to me, but I was wrong and got a $ 8,000 bill from a Photographer for a free Photo here on

Yesterday I received an E-Mail from a Photographer telling me one of the free Photos on was not uploaded by him and I have to delete it. I then replied that since this is a free CC0 licensed Image I do not want to delete it unless he tells me why should do so - CC0 is CC0 I thought.

He then replied in his next E-Mail that the Model took back the Model Release and this is why the Image is no longer CC0. If I would not delete the Image within 3 days I would get fined.

I understood this reason and of course have deleted the Photo then at once. I told him I had deleted the Image and thought everything would be alright.

False thought: In the afternoon I got another E-Mail with a Bill over 8,000 Dollars payable via PayPal for a License breach using this Image on my Website. 

I then did a Research and found out that this is a common CC0 Scam: A Photographer puts an Image online with CC0 License and then after a while changes the License to another and fines the People who are using this Photo which they meant was free Public Domain.

So I replied telling him about his scam and wished him a nice day.

Today is another day and I did not hear from him again but I have done my homework in the meanwhile and found some Proofs that the Image was CC0 until he deleted it from other CC0 Collections - the Internet and Google don't forget. Of course all Actions he did on the other Websites were logged as well.

I am waiting now for a letter from some court or maybe even from the Police, but since he lives in another Country this might take a while. I am prepared though and do hope he is smart enough to understand that he is on the wrong way.

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