Many people and companies look up photos on Google on a regular basis. One of the easiest things you can do is copy a picture from Google and then use it for whatever you need it.
In most cases it’s something innocent like sending it to a friend to have a laugh or using it in a presentation for a project in school. But this careless use of images from Google doesn’t come without a price. Literally speaking.
There is a misleading feeling of security, when one takes pictures from Google, since it has been done hundreds of times without anything bad happening. And maybe that is the main problem – lack of knowledge and understanding of how using pictures from Google works in reality.
Why we can’t use images from Google freely; what penalties we could have, and how we can safely find good, visual content. That is what this article is all about.
Why can’t we copy a picture from Google and paste it in our blog?
The vast majority of pictures on Google have been taken by actual people – shocking, right? And as the creators of those pictures they own the rights to the photos. They are the only ones who can allow the use of their content for purposes of any kind by the general public.
Things can go down in several ways with some being much more serious than others. In most cases, if a photographer finds out you’ve used one of his pictures without his consent, you will receive an e-mail from him/her with a request that the photo should be taken down. Very simple, professional and harmless, right?
However, this is not always the case. The person holding the rights to a picture can file a DMCA-take-down-note, which which can lead to temporarily shutting down your website or even worse – your hosting company removing it. Not so nice, right?
But that’s not all! The copyright holders can request a monetary compensation, which in some cases can reach thousands and thousands of dollars. Imagine owing thousands just because you didn’t want to spend 5$ on a picture – berserk! And needless to say, with all of the previously mentioned scenarios, which occur on a daily basis, your reputation is bound to go down the drain. And in itself that’s just as harmful.
You might think that you can just use the new Google filters to search for photos with licenses that are free to use, but this is a huge misunderstanding. Google does NOT do any copyright clearing. This is based on search parameters that are 1) Not very accurate. 2) Not legally safe. So please don’t think that using these search filters on Google Images are actually preventing you from getting sued!
What CAN we do then?
There is an abundance of legitimate paths to using pictures and visual content in general, some more well-known that others. For professionals like graphic designers, people working in ad agencies, medias and newspapers, most of those paths are already familiar. But regardless of this fact, let’s go through the options available, so we know how our work won’t do any harm.
The first thing to do is always to check for the copyright status. On every occasion it should be assumed that there is one! With the proper research, you can check under what copyrights are the pictures you have found so that you can know how to proceed.
Another common method is to use stock photo platforms. It is a well-known practice, not a very cheap one in most cases, but surely one that is safe! You can get pictures of basically anything, and once you’ve paid for the content you want to use, you’re free to do so! Of course, as long as you follow the Business Terms and Conditions of the provider.
…Okay, but which stock photo platform should we then choose? There are so many and some of them are pricy! Let me save you some time and effort – JumpStory it is 🙂
Our database has more than 25 million photos, videos, illustrations, icons and vectors; AI-powered search engine, on-the-spot editing – should I go on? The creators of JumpStory have put a lot of effort and time into creating a tool that simplifies image search and just makes the job effortless!
this article was written by Georgi Bayraktarov, Country Manager at JumpStory.