Can I Use That Image on My Website? 4 Tips for Ethical Image Use


Did you know that just copying an image from a search engine like Google could be wrong and also illegal? Yes, some of those images are copyright-protected. As a matter of fact, using them without the creators’ permission is Copyright Infringement, and could bring on serious lawsuits to your website.

So, to protect yourself from this and help you figure out the kinds of images to use on your website, here are some tips:

Related Post: 5 Simple Tips to Being Safe Online

Create the Images Yourself

This is the best way to save yourself the headache of copyright infringement. If you create the images yourself, then you own them totally. To do this, you can take the photos and design the graphics yourself or seek the help of a seasoned graphics designer or photographer.

Use Creative Commons Images

Creative Commons Images are images that their creators (the photographers or designers) have given people the right to share, use or build on what has been created. These kind of images are an advantage to websites as they are free to use and readily available, although you may need to give attributions and read the terms and conditions of the license. There are millions of photos ready and waiting to be used in blog posts and other creative projects.

Acquire Images from Stock Photo Agencies

You can pay to a stock agency for licence to use a particular image, and you would be able to post the image on your website. But in doing this, note that, you are not buying the images but paying for certain rights to use them according to the license you have signed. Some popular examples are iStockphoto, Shuttershock, Fotolia, Dreamstime and FotoLibra.

Get Permission from the Image Creator

Just like it’s said, ‘ask and you shall receive,’ — most image creators are considerate and will happily agree to let you make use of their picture or graphic designs on your website. But they would like you to inform them first and probably give them credit when you do post it. And if they say no, you would just have to move on and get the image from somewhere else. So, when next you are questioning whether to use a copyright image, just ask the creator.

The truth is, copying images from social media or search engines can be very tempting. And as it is often the case, the law may take a while to catch up, but adhering to these tips would go along way in protecting you.


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