|Bear: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Images - Public Domain|
You really only need to discover a few reputable sources of copyright free pictures to satisfy all your illustration needs. There are thousands of online pictures including clip art, works of art, illustrations, and high quality photos that are available for public use. Individuals and corporations donate thousands of these free for others to use.
Other images fall into the public domain when their copyright expires after which they are available to anyone who wishes to use them. Pictures wind up in the public domain because the person who created the image has given up their right to it, died, or has not laid claim to it. Some are there because the copyright that once existed on the image has expired and so now these drawings, paintings, and photographs are available for anyone to use.
Don't presume that you can use any image you find on the internet. All text and images posted online come with an automatic copyright that falls under DMCA: Digital Millennium Copyright Act and an infringement of this act can be costly.
|Romeo Juliet: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain|
Before you use someone's information or images you must obtain their permission and site this. You don't want your work stolen from you so it is quite easy to understand why no one else does either.
Even when you are using copyright free images or images that are for public use it is best to provide a credit to the site which provided you with these pictures. Giving credit where credit is due will save you a lot of headaches should someone question your image source at a later date.
Even some sites that are reputable and where you may believe that you are getting a royalty free image from may be providing you with a picture that is not yours for the taking.
One of the biggest mistakes I see are people picking up copies from Google Images. If you pick up a photo from here you may be opening yourself up to a copyright lawsuit. The majority of these images are ones that the Google bots have picked up during their search of the internet. They are not for public use and they may contain a copyright on them which strictly prohibit their use elsewhere.
Within the Public Domain are thousands of free clip art images and photos that are there for the public's use. The copyright that once existed on them has expired or no one now owns the absolute rights to these pictures so they are at this time available for public use.
|Zen: Pixabay - Public Domain|
Another interesting site is: US Fish and Wildlife Digital Library Just remember to link back to them from your blog, article, or website. They offer an amazing variety of animal images.
I have found that Karen's Whimsy to be a site that is a great place to visit for public domain pictures. These are images that no longer hold a copyright so are available for your use where ever you may wish to use them. She does offer a paid and a free version of images so check to insure you are getting the free one.
|Angel: KarensWhimsy - Public Domain|
While most of the images from Wikimedia Commons come without restrictions to their use there are some which do have a few rules.
Always read the agreement set out for the image that you are considering using. Wikimedia has a wonderful selection of art images in addition to historical and general interest. If you are using a photograph or image from Wikimedia Commons for a commercial venture check the commons statement carefully to insure that you have permission to use the picture for this purpose.
Blogging or writing articles for profit is considered a commercial venture.If you are looking for clip art or coloring pages then http://www.wpclipart.com offers up a great selection of these public domain images.
Flickr has stepped up their game when it comes to free images. http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/ but you do have to be careful to insure that the images are ones that have not made it into the commons by accident. Most are available for your use with only a credit back but check the commons agreement carefully for each image's use.
When Writing Product Reviews or Recipe Articles You Will Look More Professional if You Use Your Own Photos
|Fruit: Pixabay - Public Domain|
Base the legitimacy of the image on the reputation of the source. Always read the fine print and always be sure to use a reputable source. You still must watch out for the bad apples that are trying to use any means of acquiring your personal information and you must still be careful of photos or images that contain pictures of brand name products as these brand names may have copyrights on their usage.
|Public Domain Art Image: Wikimedia Commons|
Remember to still cite your sources at the foot of your article and include the library that you obtain your images from just to keep yourself safe of liability.
Blogging has brought about a new era on the Internet and added amazing opportunities to promote and share ones thoughts and ideas, to socialize, and even to earn a living through the writing of articles. This has brought with it an amazing wealth of free websites on which to blog, write, or create photo albums.
Along with this ability to provide written words to anyone who is willing to read them comes the search for photos and other free images to enhance our work.When you acquire your images legitimately you can write guilt free with the added benefit of beautiful images adding that little extra zip to the information that you are sharing with the rest of the world.
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