What Kind of Photos Can You Use On Your Blog Legally?

What Kind of Photos Can You Use On Your Blog Legally?

I know that there are a lot of bloggers who lift images from other sites… mainly from Google which just borrows the image from other sites as part of the search results. But due to copyright infringement laws, they may be breaking the law, and vulnerable to lawsuits. I have heard of several cases of this happening and the settlement was not cheap!

Referencing the source isn’t always enough.

And some websites will allow you to use their images on your blog only for a fee.

So Which Images Can You Use On Your Blog?

Take Your Own Photos For Your Blog

Using your own photos on you blog not only protects you from copyright laws, but it will also ensure that your images are unique and different. Learning about photography is fun, and you’re site will benefit from having a distinct look and feel from it that will stand out from the rest. And no one can sue you unless you publish a picture of someone without a release.

I good free resource to reduce the size of your photos, and maintain a lot of the high quality, is the site http://picresize.com/.

Public domain

Public Domain images are so old, their copyright has expired, or they have no copyright, no restrictions on use and are owned by the public.

Flickr is working on a project, called ‘The Commons‘, which is a collection of public domain images from sources such as the Library of Congress, NY Public Library, the Smithsonian and the National Gallery of Scotland are just a few.

You may be surprised by how many great images are under the public domain.

Creative Commons

This is a great source of pictures but not all the photos on Flickr are free to use. Some of the photos are labelled ‘All Rights Reserved.’ This means that you need to get permission to use on your blog.

The ones marked ‘Some Rights Reserved’ are probably under the Creative Commons license. There are a few terms you need to be aware of under the Creative Commons license:

Attribution 2.0 Generic – You can share (use), remix, alter, and crop the images, but you MUST credit the photographer.
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic – You can share (use), remix, alter, and crop the images, and you MUST credit the photographer, but you may not use these for commercial purposes.

Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic – You can use the photos on your blog but you can not alter, crop or write on them. You MUST credit the photographer.

Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic – you can share (use) the photos but you cannot alter, crop or write on them. You MUST credit the photographer. You may not use these for commercial purposes.

Stock Images

Stock image sites also offer free stock photography. You’ll be able to get some relatively good quality photos from these sites. Check out the Free Images and Every Stock Photo for photos you can use on your blog.

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Here Are Some More Free Pictures You Can Use on Your Blog

The following four websites offer free photos that you can download to use on your blog. Be sure to check the copyright restrictions on any photos you use on your blog. Some of the free photos on these sites could require you to provide attribution (which you should do anyway), notify the photographer of your use of their photo, or more.

1 Dreamstime

Provides a good selection of royalty free stock photos. It also has images available for a small fee (some as low as $0.26).

2 MorgueFile

Has a large selection of free photos that you can use on your blog. In most cases you’ll need to ask for permission and a link back from your blog post to the source.

3 FreeFoto

Has over 100,000 free photos that you can use on your blog. You’ll probably have to give credit and a link back to the source. Most of these photos include a small “FreeFoto.com” watermark in the lower right-hand corner of the photo.

4 Pixabay

Gives an easy access to a growing resource of public domain images. These images can be included in your blog without having to give credit to the source.

To Wrap It Up

Make sure you take care and try not to break copyright laws. Just because you see other bloggers do it doesn’t mean that it is right. Follow the guidelines listed here and you should be fine.

Here’s to your future success blogging!


Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I am not an expert in copyright law. This post is suggestive only and should not be taken for legal advice.

P.S. – If you like this post, feel free comment down below and/or share on Facebook.

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Suggested Articles:
1. How to Blog – How to Choose a Blog Niche
2. How to Keep Readers Engaged with Your Blog Posts and Reduce Website Bounce Rate
3. How to Blog – 10 Tips to Create a Six-Figure Blog

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