Many small businesses ask: Can I Use Photos Found On the Web In My Website?
We found a very good explanation of the in’s and out’s of finding images for your site. There are a few guidelines to follow when using an image and how to find one you can legally use.
Just typing a subject into Google Images and copying something is easy, but it’s not the best idea if you want to avoid a lawsuit. One website design company, Bit Wave Design, states:
First, some basic copyright facts. In the U.S., pretty much anything created privately and originally since the late eighties is copyrighted and protected AUTOMATICALLY, whether it has a notice or not. The upshot of this is that small businesses generally don’t need to worry about posting complicated copyright notices on their websites.
After explaining the legal issues. He points out a few sites where you can pay for images as well as free sites to choose images from:
There are many free options also. Probably the best place to start your search is Stock.XCHNG, which has hundreds of thousands of photos and a more strict uploading system, which reduces the chance that you’ll get an image that is stolen.
Other good sources of free photos include StockVault, OpenPhoto, FreeMediaGOO, MorgueFile and Unprofound. There are many more out there of course (here’s a more extensive list of free stock image sites) but be cautious when using unknown sites, which may offer images without the author’s permission.
We encourage all small businesses with a website, which should be all of you, to read the entire article. Go there now >>