Recently I have been asked about images and where you can source them to legally use without being sued. This is of growing concern as some photographers have been exploiting the unknowing and using ‘fee bait’ photos to trap the unwary into paying crippling costs once they publish online.
With this sad scenario in mind, I dug this lot up.
If you are looking for images you can legally use on your blog, there are things you need to remember. When you grab images off of the web, you need to focus on content that is already in the public domain. It can also be royalty-free, or may have a Creative Commons license. All of these situations indicate images and pictures you can freely use on your website or blog. But how do you find them? Check out these 7 websites that list images and pictures you can legally use on your blog.
1. Google – http://www.google.com/imghp
The Big G. At images.google.com, type in your search term. When the images are displayed, click on “Search tools” and then “usage rights”. You will then see a drop-down list of different usage rights. Choose the one that is most applicable to your situation and you instantly harness the power of the world’s biggest image searching engine!
However, this method comes with a big warning!! Some people think it’s OK to just Google images and use whatever they like. That is not OK. Images are copyrighted, so you need to ensure yoy have the legal rights to use them. This is why you must select the correct type of usage rights for your search, and then double check the usage rights of any image you want to use by clicking through the Google result to look at the website that first published the image.
If you’re in any doubt, use the sources below instead!
2. Flickr – http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons
At Flickr.com/creativecommons there are tens of millions of images which have been given the Attribution License. This means you may “copy, distribute and display” any images you find, as long as you give the image creator credit. And a Noncommercial License means you can copy, distribute and display those images, but for noncommercial purposes only. (This means you could use those types of images in an informational blog post where you are not selling anything.)
3. Pixabay – http://pixabay.com/
This site is popular with bloggers everywhere. That is because most of the images listed here can be used without having to give tribute to the source. Sign-up is free, and you also receive access to a growing list of vectors and art illustrations. Pixabay.com is where you need to go.
4 . Free Photos Bank – http://freephotosbank.com/
Freephotosbank.com is quickly becoming a popular resource for photographs on the web. Categories are broken down extensively, and you can even download and use photos without logging into an account.
5. Morgue File – http://www.morguefile.com/
While it may sound like something out of a horror movie, Morguefile.com is actually a great place for stock photos and free images. The photographs have been freely contributed, and the site asks that you credit the photographer whenever possible.
6. Public Domain Pictures – http://publicdomainpictures.net/
This is another image providing site that is rapidly growing. Free public domain images can be used on your blog or website, and there are premium images also offered for a fee. Publicdomainpictures.net is where you head.
7. Stock Vault – http://www.stockvault.net/
Stockvault.net has more than 70,000 members, all contributing free and paid images and photographs. You do not even have to sign up for an account. Image files, graphics and photographs for use on your website or blog can be found here. (Personal and noncommercial use only).
I hope that this helps, but as always, check, check, and check again.