Let’s say you have a blog on flowers and you really need a photo of a sunflower. Rather than go out and take one yourself you decide you will let your fingers do the walking… on your laptop that is! You do a search in Google Images and the perfect picture comes up. All you have to do is save it to your desktop. It will be part of your post in seconds but not so fast partner! Before you decide to take an image off the Internet read the story below on how using material that doesn’t belong to you can get you in a whole lot of trouble.
Picture agency Getty sends a huge bill for the unauthorized use of their images on a church website.
Okay, you get it. Copyright infringement isn’t a smart move. But you may be wondering where you can get images for your blog without getting into trouble. Here are a few places where images are free to use as long as you follow the rules set out by each website.
Creative Commons - A copyright license providing a flexible copyright protection for books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings. Click here for a flyer that explains how it all works.
Creative Commons Flickr – Choose from millions of images that have the Creative Commons copyright license. Many of the authors request only a credit in exchange for using their image.
The illustration of the copyright symbol I used above is from freedigitalphotos.net. They have a great collection of images that are free to use online, as long as the photographer is credited. To make things even easier this site will generate HTML code indicating who took the photo and link back to the freedigitalphotos.net website. You can easily insert the code on the page where the image is published.
And here is that sunflower image I was talking about at the beginning of this post. It’s from Microsoft Images. Although you don’t need to credit the images used from that website I always add that information, just in case someone wants to know where it came from. As well, the Microsoft Images website has borders, animations, illustrations and sounds, all free to use, on their website.
Do you know of other sites where images are available to use for free online? Let me know and I’ll add them to this list.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.