The web is brilliant isn’t it? A billion websites and counting – you can find anything you like on there. And mostly free to view. But NOT free to re-use.
Just because there’s a lovely image out there that’s just perfect for your blog post doesn’t mean you can borrow it for your own little corner of the web.
Please always follow best practices with images. Creatives deserve to be paid and recognised just the same as the rest of us. You always have options:
- use your own images
- commision a photographer or illustrator for some original work
- pay for stock photography – it’s not that expensive
- search Flickr for images that can be shared …and give the photographer credit if due!
- use a free stock image source …and check the terms and conditions
- use Google Image Search for ‘Images Labelled For Reuse’
You don’t just expose yourself to a theoretical risk that someone will stumble across an unlicensed image. There are software tools that crawl the web all day, every day turning up infringements. Some image owners have gained quite a reputation for pursuing both missing license fees and punitive damages, adding up to many £100s or £1000s. Nobody wants the hassle of settling these claims.
Let’s all be careful out there!