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Thread: Legal Use of Web Images

  1. #1

    Member Since
    Jan 22, 2007
    Legal Use of Web Images
    I am designing a website for a small business of mine and have come to find out (or remember) that I have very little artistic talent. The website is just an information source for a physical, retail location. I have a few questions about what sort of images are legal to use.

    A) I take a picture of something I own in my house. Would any of these be fine since I bought the product?

    B) Are there any images that are considered public domain such as the medical cross or united states flag that I can type into Google image search and use a without problem? Or is each image a slightly different copy I would have to have permission to use?

    C) What images can I use from a Google image search or general Google search? Do I have to find a way to purchase whatever I see or is anything not for sale part of a "public domain" that anyone can use?

    D) Is it ok to use images that do not directly generate revenue such as a random icon on the website near the menu items?

    I very much appreciate any or all answers you can provide. Thank you!

  2. #2

    PowerBookG4's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 08, 2005
    New Jersey
    A) you can take a picture of anything you own and its your picture so you can use it for what ever you want. Unless you take a picture of something copyrighted like another picture

    B) I am not sure, about the other things, but any graphics of the flag I believe are fair game, and if they are not I am sure you can get them from, if its a picture of a flag hanging somewhere then its that persons picture and you can not use it.

    C) I do not think you can take any picture for free.

    D) If its a free download from a place like a template site where they know what its suppose to be used for and they made it available for that purchase you can use it.
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  3. #3
    B) These are public domain images in effect, so you can use them, unless someone has altered them substantially and put them on their website. For example, a green cross is the universal symbol for pharmacies and you can use them. But if someone produced a picture incorporating the green cross e.g. on a piece of packaging mockup, you couldn't use that.

    C) Pretty much anything that appears on another site is out of bounds copyright wise.

    D) Any graphic, however small, that appears on another site belong to someone else, so cannot be copied.

    There are free photo sites though luckily. Visit:

    iStock are cheap though if you need to pay:

  4. #4

    Member Since
    Nov 10, 2006
    Leeds, England
    There is such a thing as "fair use" like the kind of policy Wikipedia operates to use other people's images but if you ask me it's too much of a grey area.

    Stick with images you've created yourself and those from iste like (they've have plenty to choose from). I've been designing websites for years and 99% of the time sxc has what I want.

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