How to find copyright free images? This matters greatly to any blogger and anyone who posts images on Social Media sites.

We’ve all done it – hurriedly and excitedly grabbed an image from Google to use in a blog post, a Facebook meme or a sales page. It’s so easy and there’s so many great images available on the internet.

Plus, it seems everyone else is doing it, so what’s the big deal? Why should you be so very careful with the images you use? Here’s why! You could be sued for using a copyrighted image.

That quick download of an image could end up costing you big money in a lawsuit.

Roni Loren experienced this firsthand when she was sued for an image she used in a blog post.

Recently an avid internet marketer was sued for the image he grabbed from the internet.

Roni Loren explains It DOESN’T MATTER…

  • if you link back to the source and list the photographer’s name
  • if the picture is not full-sized (only thumbnail size is okay)
  • if you did it innocently
  • if your site is non-commercial and you made no money from the use of the photo
  • if you didn’t claim the photo was yours
  • if you’ve added commentary in addition to having the pic in the post
  • if the picture is embedded and not saved on your server
  • if you have a disclaimer on your site.
  • if you immediately take down a pic if someone sends you a DMCA notice (you do have to take it down, but it doesn’t absolve you.)

How to Find Copyright Free Images

1. Use your own pics.

With the ease and technology that smart phones have provided, you have the means to stay safe by using your own pics.

2. Subscribe to an image service.

The costs for subscriptions like Shutterfly varies but it can get pretty pricey if you use a lot of images.

3. Use copyright free images.

Ever since I read the first horror story of a blogger being sued for using a copyrighted image, I always refrain from just grabbing any image from Google. The great news is that I’ve always been able to find exactly what I needed when my own pics just didn’t suit the intent of my blog post or Facebook meme. This is where I find copyright free images. *** My first go-to source for images is Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist – even for commercial purposes. Set up a free account and begin using this amazing service. *** My second source is actually Google images! But it’s more involved. I do an advanced search to find images that are copy-right free and available to use and modify, even commercially. Here’s how to find copyright free images  on Google

1. Do a Google search for your subject, then click on “Images.” In this example, I searched for mountains images. Look at that – 27 million images! I hit the mother lode! But before I use any of these images, I narrow down the search to find copyright free images. Next …
2. Click the settings tab and on the dropdown menu, click “Advanced Search”
3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the drop down for “Usage Rights.” Choose the “free to use, share and modify, even commercially” setting; then click the “Advanced Search” button
4. Now, safely choose from the available copyright free images that you can use, share and modify.
There are many other places to find copyright free images, but I’ve often been dragged down the rabbit hole searching for the perfect picture amidst all that’s available. These two resources have provided endless photos quickly and easily, saving me loads of time. I truly cringe when I think of how many people do not realize the jeopardy they may be facing if they don’t use copyright free images. If you’ve been partaking of the plethora of Google images without a second thought of copyright, I hope my warning and suggestions help you protect yourself. Any other ideas or resources to share on how to find copy-right free images? Please comment and share. We’re in this together!

Trisha Barnes

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