We've talked about how you can get hit with thousand of dollars in fines for a single unauthorized use of one photo, and it’s a serious issue that isn’t as unlikely a you probably think.
If you’re using any of the methods I’m going to mention i this email to find photos, you’re at serious risk of getting into legal trouble over it, so don’t do it!
Let’s take a look at the worst ways to find photos. You should avoid these sources like the plague, as they are the most likely sources of trouble.
Google Images, is the most common way people look for images and it’s also the worst unless you use it correctly.
In fact, some people actually use it deliberately to get people to find and use their photos so they can attempt t extort money from them under threat of legal action.
They will upload their images, tag them appropriately, an use scrapers to constantly watch for unauthorized use.
But Google Images CAN be a decent source of images if you use it to search ONLY for Creative Commons images.
We will talk more about this later, but for now, just realize that searching Google Images without any special attributes is VERY likely to get you into trouble at some point.
A lot of people post beautiful images on Instagram, but they are NOT legal to take and use, despite a lot of people thinking the are.
You CAN use the Instagram embed feature, which properly attributes the photo and links to the photographer’ Instagram profile and works somewhat like the YouTube embed feature, but you cannot just download a photo an upload it to your website or use it elsewhere, even if you give attribution, unless you get specific permission from the photographer.
Other People’s Websites
Finding photos on other people’s websites and blogs, an on wallpaper websites, is a common way people look for images. But these images are usually NOT copyright free and you could get into serious trouble doing this.
If you find a photo you really want to use, you can try to contact the original photographer and ask for permission.
If you don’t know who the original photographer is, you can upload the photo to Google Images and see if it comes up with the website of the photographer.