How to Avoid Copyright Infringement for Images


The use of images on websites has increased drastically. Today, having good images is very important for effective Internet Marketing. Images for SEO purposes come later; initially images are necessary to accompany your content for your audience. Although to find good photos which go in sync with your content is also difficult.

It is important to consider copyright laws and regulations as well while picking photos online. If you violate copyright laws and regulations, you are subjected to hefty fines, lawsuits etc. Let’s review some points where we can add good images without getting into the troubles of copyright issues

Get Royalty free images

You will come across many websites proclaiming that they provide royalty free images. However, these websites do not put in extra efforts to check whether they photos are actually royalty free or the users who upload the photos have the rights. With Google Image search you can find images which are free to use. Wikipedia Commons is also a great source of high quality, free photos but with a disclaimer stating “Wikimedia Commons cannot grant any rights to use any otherwise protected materials. Your use of any such or similar incorporeal property is at your own risk.” To be precise, it is not that you cannot use the image just because it is appearing on the website.

It is important to note that royalty free image does not signify that it is free. It signifies that the images are not “rights-managed.” There are some popular sources of images like Getty Images; AP images etc. sell rights managed images wherein the user can purchase a license for using photo just once in the manner as specified by the license

You can get royalty free images from

Conducting a background search

There are various tools online where one can find where the particular image is used somewhere else. It is known as reverse image search. These searches don’t give you much information however; such searches can sometimes help you to gain knowledge about an image’s copyright status.

TinEye is the best reverse search image tool. Other than that you can go for Google Image Search.

Your own photos are the best source

One of the best ways to not get involved in copyright issues is creating your own photos and own the copyright. This comes with its own set of challenges following model releases and obeying particular privacy laws.

Nowadays, smartphones have the latest technology for clicking high-quality photos. So, you don’t need a professional camera. You also get the advantage that the photos are unique.

It is important to know that some photos that you click can be subjected to trademark law. If you are not sure about photograph infringes on the intellectual property of another person or entity, then it is better to consult an attorney knowledgeable in IP law before uploading the photo on your website.

While searching for any image, do not spend a lot of time in finding the perfect image but don’t neglect the due diligence part to ensure the rights for using the image which you ultimately select.

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