Google, that search engine we love so much, makes it so easy for us to find the”perfect” image we need for our next blog post, article, or for our website. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to use the images we find on Google and here’s why.
Most images on Google come with copyright protection that most of us overlook. We think oh “no one will notice”, or “hey, it’s on Google”. Most images you see on Google appear in searches because they have been indexed by Google using SEO. Photographers and designers alike seek to have their information found just like bloggers and writers. However, they don’t invite people to just freely use their images without proper licensing.
A few months ago I found myself in a situation that I never thought would happen to me. Someone in one of my blogging groups posted a cool Gif image that displayed the evolution of the desk. The image was so darn cool that I decided to write a blog post specifically so that I could use that image. Well about a few days after publishing the post I received the email below:
I am the producer of the Evolution of the Desk video that you have featured
The content you have posted is not original, but you can keep it up as long
as you mention the actual producer, Best Reviews, and provide a clickable
link to the original source: http://bestreviews.com#reviews
We spent a lot of time and resources creating the video and would like
proper attribution. Thanks in advance for your support.
Co Founder @BestReviews
I was so nervous after reading it, because I’ve heard of people being sued for copyright infringement and I was in no position to fork over thousands of dollars. So, after that incident, I made it my business to ensure that I only used images that I obtained from sites that legitimately offered free images or images that I could purchase with extended licensing options.
So, to ensure that you never face a situation like the one I encountered, I’m giving you some cool websites where you can obtain FREE stock images to use on your website or blog. Many of the sites offer the CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) license which means they are free to use commercially WITHOUT attribution. Some sites might offer the CC2 license, which means they are free to use commercially WITH attribution.
- PIXABAY: Pixabay is my favorite free image site. I’ve used many images for my blog and website from this site. If you’re iPhone user who uses the app, WordSwag or Befunky then you’re familiar with Pixabay as both of those apps utilize the site for its users to obtain images for their projects.
- UNSPLASH: Their photos are arranged in collections. They offer 10 new free photos every 10 days. You can do a search to find specific images.
- NEGATIVE SPACE: The images from this site are so cool. They are arranged by negative space on the left, on the right and in the center.
- FREE FOOD PHOTOS: This site makes you want to lick the screen. The food photos are amazing and the quality is beyond superb.
These are just a few of the favorite sites I love to use when searching for copyright free images that I can use for my website or blog. Always remember when using an image you find on Google or any site, research the copyright law associated with the image. Taking time to research will save you the legal headache of trying to justify your illegal actions later.