When using the internet I come across hundreds of images every day, some of which I am instantly drawn to. I often think wow that image would look great in my latest blog post! Unfortunately it’s not that simple, you can’t just take someone else’s image, however tempting the print screen option might be. Using someone else’s image without their permission can get you into a lot of trouble. Having said that although the majority of images found on the internet will be heavily restricted, there is a selection of images available for you to use and in some cases even alter. Despite this, it is more than likely that some licensing restrictions will still apply; therefore it is important to do your research on the image and find out exactly what these restrictions might be.
Some of the images found on the internet might be sold as royalty free images. Royalty Free Images are a type of image that you can often use for your own use. Sometimes they are referred to as stock images that permit you to use the image in certain ways. It is worth noting that even within the use of royalty free images there are variations that apply to its license and how the image can be used. These are usually categorised under non-transferable, non- exclusive, perpetual, worldwide and multiple use. Before using any royalty free images I recommend that you visit stock photo guides for further information about the licensing requirements for each of these images.
There are also “free images” available on the internet that do not require you to pay at any point of its use. Instead these “free images” can be used as long as you comply with the images requirements of use. For example this might entail giving the artist / author attribution whenever you use the image. I have found that Flickr is a great site for finding images that you are able to reuse. If you choose to use Flickr you should use the
When you reach the advanced search page you should enter your key words in the top search box and then scroll down to the bottom section called creative commons (also known as CC). You should then tick the box that says “only search within Creative Commons-licensed content” along with the two boxes underneath “find content to use commercially” and find content to modify, adapt or build upon”. When you press search Flickr will filter through and select images that you are able to use. Once you have selected the image you require look out for the “some rights reserved” link, usually found underneath the image or on the right side panel. By clicking this image you will be re-directed to the creative commons license that applies for the image you have chosen. This page is extremely important as it will give you the specific restrictions and requirements that you must comply to before you use the image. Some users for example might ask you to reference the artist / owner of the image and some might ask you to display the license laws for the image you are using. As long as you follow these requirements Flickr is a great source for finding suitable images.
So next time your trawling the internet or sifting through the thousands of images that Google has made available make sure you check out the licensing laws that are applied to the image before you use it.