Anytime you see something with “legal” in it, it normally grabs your attention. I don’t mean to scare you with this one, but it’s something we do need to go over. A lot of websites out there have images on them. A lot of those images may not be approved from the person or company who actually own the images. There are some heavy consequences if you happen to use them without permission or consent. Similar with plagiarized content.
I remember years ago when I was in high school having to do book reports and essays. ( I won’t tell you how long ago that was though, lol.) Come up with a great 3.5 structured essay, then for the cover I’d search the internet for a picture to use below my title. Back then there wasn’t Google so I’d use Netscape to go to Yahoo or Lycos. I’d use the class printer to print out my picture and staple it to my report and I’d be good to go.
Lets fast forward to websites and blogs of today. Sure everyone has a website. If you don’t have a website, your next phone call should be to us because we’d like to know why not. There are many sites and blogs that use pictures they found on Google images that may have been saved and used without the content providers notice. Now most of this content wouldn’t be sold or resold, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Also, just because an image is found on a search engine, doesn’t make it legal for you to use on your own site. Even if the site you found it on wasn’t the originator or royalty free site.
“Royalty-Free, or RF, refers to the right to use copyrighted material or intellectual property without the need to pay royalties for each use or per volume sold, or some time period of use or sales.” (Wikipedia source)
There’s a whole bunch of RF sites out there for you to use. Some free, but most will have a premium to pay for credits to then use to download images. These images can range from people, events, buildings, vectors, logos, and more. To give you a few sites check the list below.
Free RF sites:
Premium RF Sites:
The last thing you want to happen is getting a cease order in the mail or email about some content you have on your website. Similar to website copy, graphics and images are protected too. And just so that you know, there are web programs and bots that troll websites looking for unauthorized content. Similar to like a facial scan or fingerprint recognition system, these applications work around the clock looking for content that may not be authorized in their databases.