Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Free Photos for Your Blog and Copyright Info

There are many reasons to use pictures on your blogs. First, it draws attention to your post. Second, it may add to your blog's search engine visibility. But what if you don't have a picture? Do you do a quick Google image search and hope that the author of that pic doesn't mind that you're using their image? If you blog is for personal use only (in other words, you are not helping to promote your business with it), the authors of the photographs or illustrations may not mind. But why take the chance that you are violating the copyright by using protected images?

Copyright and fair use
This has always been an important subject for me because I deal with it in my career as a graphic designer. Generally, I assume that everything on the web is copyright protected, unless it states otherwise. If no copyright or trademark information is given, it is still protected. You may wish to check out this easy explanation of copyright and fair use.

Where can you find copyright-free pictures?
Some websites offer inexpensive royalty free stock photography and illustrations. These can be purchased for a couple of dollars. But if you're cheap like me, you may prefer these free alternatives:
  • morgueFile
  • Stock.XCHNG
  • Google Images Didn't I just mention not to go there? However, Google Images provides an option to filter for image type. If you click on the "Advanced Image Search" link, you can do a search for different image rights. Try searching for images "labeled for reuse" or "labeled for commercial reuse with modification".
Who is using your images?
If you're wondering if anyone on the web is using your personal images, there are a couple of tools that can help you find them:


  1. Thank you Carol, for all the links! :) and this very useful informative post. :)

  2. Thank you Carol. I never knew one could filter for non copywrighted images. Your post is very informative.