Using images in our online work is crucial.
But while some may be flattered you’re using a photo they took or image they created, most are not.
Besides all the SEO and search-engine ranking reasons, using someone else’s work without their permission is not only wrong but also may be illegal.
Can I use an image on my website without permission?
Just because an image appears in a Google search doesn’t mean that it’s free to use. If you use a copyrighted image without permission, be aware that you could be sued by the owner. In the US, photographers own the images they have taken from the moment they press the camera shutter.
How can I legally use copyrighted images?
6 Best Practices for Legally Using Google Images
- Always Assume the Image is Protected by Copyright. Never use an image, illustration or photograph without first doing research to determine its copyright status.
- Use Your Own Photos and Images.
- Use Creative Commons-Licensed Images.
- Use Images From Stock Photo Agencies.
- Confirm Who Owns the Copyright in the Image.
How do you know what images are copyrighted?
How to Find Out If an Image Is Copyrighted?
- Navigate to the United States Copyright Office website (link in Resources).
- Click “Search Records” at the top of the Copyright Office website.
- Click “Search the Catalog” under “Online Records.”
- Click “Set Search Limits.”
What images can I use on my website for free?
24+ websites to find free images for your marketing
- Unsplash. Unsplash has its own license, which essentially lets you use the images for free, in any way you like, except for using them to create a competing website.
- Burst (by Shopify)
- Free Images.