We thought it of value to enlighten you about what your business needs to know about using stock photography and images from the internet.

Many people assume that images sourced from google are free to use as long as there is no copyright watermark on them.  This is incorrect.  From the time an image is created it is automatically protected by copyright.  Copyright is a form of protection provided by the law and applies to all images. To use an image without having permission or purchasing a licence is known as infringement.

Infringement of copyright can be very costly and result in lawsuits, legal fees and sometimes criminal charges.  Some examples of infringement are… using all of or just part of an image without permission, use beyond the agreement of the license or permission or asking a photographer to recreate the image identically or adapting the image.

A lot of people assume that if an image has been copied from a google search and used, it is very unlikely the creator will ever be able to find out its being used… this is not true, lots of images are ‘digital rights managed’ and their use is easily detectable.  Even if the image isn’t digital rights managed, there are other ways it can be detected.

There are sources of free, legal images. But the quality of these images can be lower than paid-for images. The better quality free images can also be over-used, making them less effective if they have been seen over and over.

There are two main types of licences when purchasing stock photography.  ‘Royalty-Free’ and ‘Rights-Managed’.

Royalty Free

For royalty-free images, you get nearly unlimited use. You can use the image in pretty much however you like, for as long as you like, as many times as you like.  Following payment of the license fee, no additional royalty payments are owed.

Right Managed Images

With rights-managed images, your right to use the image is typically restricted, with limitations placed on things such as duration of use, geographic region, industry, etc., this will all be established in your license agreement.

So consider what kind of images your business needs, whether stock images or hiring a photographer is more suitable for you and what you will need to use the images for as this will determine the type of licence or permission you will need for the images.

For the purpose of this article this images was licensed. Please get in touch by calling Mark Womersley on +44 (0) 113 294 4522  or get in touch via our enquiry form if you have any questions about using stock photography and images from the internet.




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