I make my own for my website. I used to use Morguefile.com, though.
After hearing yesterday about another person getting sued over using images on their site, I thought this would be a great thread here to make sure everyone is aware of using images properly.
Just some things to note...
1) Just because it's on the Internet doesn't give you rights to use it.
2) Crediting the source doesn't necessarily clear you from legal problems (You need permission.)
3) Just because it's "free" doesn't mean you can use on commercial sites. Always read the terms.
4) Always make sure you have rights to use them on commercial projects. A lot of the free sites only allow for personal use. And if you can use them on commercial sites you have to properly credit them.
http://www.morguefile.com is one that grants you rights to use on commercial projects without credit.
I use ThinkStock. It's very pricey and I don't expect that to be a popular choice for most. But there are other sites out here that are less expensive so feel free to share what you use.
So I thought I'd open up a discussion here. Where do you get your images from?
Well, luckily for me, I have a gig-byte full of PDF's granting me permission to use manuf. photos.
I at first thought I could get around this, but after seeking legal council (and my concience) I had to go through the gruesom process of "asking" lol. (it was just an email)
It really was a no-brainer, i just told them it was to advertise and promote sales, (which it is) most were for it. but Frick™ (notice the tm) was not so willing, unfortunately, I had to take them off my site but I have at least 30 others to replace them.
But yes! ALWAYS (especially if you are a company)(people tend to believe companies have money and therefore sue) ASK AND GET IT IN WRITING!
But on the down side - it takes time for companies who own the images to get back. And it's hard to be patient. (sometimes) but ya know.
Here's one article in particular. The other story I referred to was not online. I was talking to another blogger.
A related issue also happened to a blog owner. He was being sued by Getty Images for the image that has been posted to his blog, not that he is the one who posted it.
Sxc dot hu is a free image site and used by a lot of marketers. When you open the image page it states whether you can use the image commercially or not. If it does not grant permission move on to the next one. Also, there are hundreds of sites like Sxc which have thousands of images that can be used commercially.
If a blogger is too lazy and does not want to spend time checking permissions and licenses, he deserves it if he gets caught and is penalized.
For those who are creating a blog, don't get too caught up with the "which image should I use" quandary. Images are used only to break the monotony of text, and complement your content. If you're posting pictures of things like food dishes to complement a recipe, then remember that it is not your recipe that created the dish that is shown in the image!
The best thing to do, unless you have a blog in a highly technical niche, is to take your own pictures. Your images will always look natural and you will never need to worry about permissions. Most importantly, your image will be completely unique, a strong plus point in the eyes of your reader. If you're writing a review of a camera, for example, nothing stops you from walking into an electronics store and taking pictures of the model that you're writing about.
After all, almost everyone owns a cell phone which has a camera, and taking pictures is as easy as making a phone call today!
Bloggers may think that their readers are less knowledgeable than them when it comes to the internet, but more and more people are aware that Google also has an image search. Once they type in their what they are looking for and if they also do an image search they will find that the image that you have on your site can be found at hundreds of other sites as well. This will not only affect your credibility but will also dilute the value of your content(if it is unique!).
Remember, your own pictures, which may look much less professional than an actual product image of a camera for example, will have much higher conversion rates than the image of a camera that you have taken off of a product website or someone else's website for that matter.
That's what happens in the case of Amazon products because almost 100% of affiliate sites have the exact product image that Amazon allows you to use as their affiliate. A person looking for a review will find the same image on all the sites where he finds a review. That is the reason why Amazon affiliates complain about low conversion rates - but then, they seem to forget that none of them has anything unique to write or show in terms of images!
Imagine how a prospective customer for an Amazon product would react when he finds a unique set of images on your site that look natural since they have been taken by you, and you have also written a detailed 1000-word review that answers all his questions and provides him with all the information that he needs. Anyone will realize that yours is the most authentic review of the product on the internet, and will not hesitate to follow your call to action!
If your niche is gardening you may need to spend some time looking for the right garden or plant but when you have a unique image your readers will know that you are a passionate gardening enthusiast and will read all your articles and click all of your links(and buy everything your recommend as well!). Whether you promote a Clickbank product related to gardening or you are selling your own guide, visitors to your site will gladly buy it.
The same is applicable to advertising as well. I have heard scores of Facebook advertisers complain about low CTRs after plucking the product image(or any image) off the product site and showing it in their ad - expecting people to click on the same image that they see all the time. Try showing a unique image that you have taken with your camera and see CTRs go through the roof!
PS - Lisa's question was - where do you get your images from...I did answer the question but then I digressed from the topic. It was not intentional and I do hope there is some "useful babble" above that you can use after reading it!
Last edited by emvy548; 03-05-2014 at 03:18 AM.
nice article lisa. This also explains why some of the images that are on one of my site have a broken link and not showing. Thank you for this information. It is very useful.
I smell a new "tort" industry. Copyright lawyers suing everyone with a keyboard as far as the eye can see.
Read the article, I'm a little disapointed. I have so many questions, but that's because I like to learn about "law".
I highly recommend any one who is not legally.... literate (term used politely) spend a few hours at the trademark office's website.
Of course if you are not in the US, I'm not sure if those links will be any good for you.
I bought a few programs back in the day that came with a lot of images, like Print Shop, so I use them for most of my image need. I mean I bought the program and the images came with it so I hope it's ok to use. However, I have gone online a few times and search for a particular image type, and use the image without checking if it's free or not or even copyrighted. Well, I will start taking stock, now!
Very useful information Lisa! I will definitely start using those resources.
Well it appears that I have made some gross mistakes with images. I have heavily used images from Google Images and Wikipedia. I am going back through all of the images that I have used on my site to make sure that I have given proper credit to the place where I found the image. It sounds like I have not done enough and am now worried about impending problems.
Should I now go back through and take down all of the images that I have used? Does giving proper credit offer me some wiggle room? Boy there is much more to this internet stuff than meets the eye.
And what timing... the next day after I posted this Getty announces you can now use their images for free (not without crediting of course) See this... http://www.theverge.com/2014/3/5/547...es-free-to-use
Go through the links I posted before this one.
And this one
http://www.contentfac.com/copyright-...ies-are-scary/ (thank you Lisa for posting this)
I actually find it hard to get images that I can use for my site (which is a commercial site)
Getting good images is always a challenge.
One secret is to realize that you do not need to use photographs to have good images. Here are some of the things I do.
1. Learning to use screen captures is extremely valuable. Like this one cut right here from the initial work on this post:
2. One of my favorite image alternatives is to create a background for notes or tips, etc. I made one that looks like a notepad that I like. It saves image loading time too because it is actually only an extremely small image repeated over and over:
3. Another type of image that requires no photographic skills is to use the features of some of your common programs like Excel. For instance this chart showing the national debt I made recently:
There are probably many more options but these are three I use. This does not mean I do not use photo images as well, but these along with the use of lists and also using borders with background colors behind sections of text identified as "An Example" and the like greatly reduces the need for them.
Website: Success With Money
"If your content doesn’t drive activity or conversations, don’t expect it to drive links." —Tom Schmitz, Search Engine Land