Ah- the ol' copyright question. I have brought it up a few times recently. Most notably when I referred to Burning Well and how I got grounded for hotlinking to their site.
I had several people mention that they had never heard of Burning Well. And it occurred to me that I found out about it on Active Rain! Here is the post where I found Burning Well along with several other sites. I have not personally tried them all, but I hope you can use some of them.
Where to Find Copyright Free Images. By Lisa Hill, "THE SMART CHOICE!"
Adding Great Images to Your Posts... The Legal Way! This is not a new topic, but it's one that needs to be repeatedly addressed. But I'm going to take this a step further. Rather than just tell you what's acceptable and what's not, I'm going to provide you with a list of web sites where you can search and find photos that are Copyright Free, aka Royalty Free, aka Public Domain, aka Creative Commons. << These links are to verbiage definitions.
For a brief tutorial, you should know that you cannot just grab photos from anywhere on the internet and use them in your blogs. You have to assume that all images are copyrighted by the owner, unless otherwise specified. (The same as music and videos) But there are many sites that are filled with photos in the Public Domain. A Public Domain/Copyright Free/Royalty Free images can most likely be used in your blogs. But you must read the fine print. Most copyright free sites will have a disclaimer, stating that you must provide credit to the person who took the photo, and/or a link back to the originating site or photographer.
A couple more factors to keep in mind when looking for copyright free images...
- Just because you see the word "Free" does not mean the image is copyright free. It just means you don't have to pay to use the image.
- Be careful not to click away from the site where you were searching for copyright free images. One of the sites I use makes you check if you want to search that particular site, or the entire internet. And the default check is in the internet box. You must be careful to check the "site" box before you search for the image you want.
- You should have multiple sites through which you could search, because sometimes it can be very difficult to find just the right photo or image to match your subject. I personally like to place images that pertain to certain paragraphs at random intervals throughout my post.
OK. Now we're ready for the copyright free list of photo, clipart, and image sites. I use Firefox for my web browser (Booo Internet Explorer), and have tons of folders for all my sites of interest. My Images and Clipart folder is one of the largest folders in my "Xmarks"; formerly known as "Foxmarks". It has taken me a LONG time to accumulate these sites! I hope you enjoy them =)
- http://www.burningwell.org/ (All Copyright Free Images)
- http://www.fci.crossnet.se/index.html (Copyright Free Christian Images)
- http://dir.coolclips.com/ (All Copyright Free Clipart)
- http://www.copyrightfreephotos.com/ (Be careful on this site. Read the rules!)
- http://gimp-savvy.com/PHOTO-ARCHIVE/index.html (All copyright free photos)
- http://images.fws.gov/default.cfm?fuseaction=records.browseKeywords (Government images are free for you to use however you need. Just make sure there are no trademarked names showing. You can remove these with your photo editing software.)
- http://www.freefoto.com/index.jsp (Must provide a link back!)
- http://www.freephotos.se/ (All images are free to use. Check the instructions on each photo before using.)
- http://www.dotgovwatch.com/?/archives/8-The-Best-Copyright-Free-Photo-Libraries.html (Government images. All completely free for use!)
- http://pdphoto.org/ (Public Domain Images)
- http://pics4learning.com/ (Images on this site are for use by teachers and students)
- http://web.centre.edu/enviro/Photos_files/Photos.htm (Royalty Free Photos. Must provide link back to photographer)
- http://www.public-domain-photos.com/ (Public Domain photos. Check each image for crediting instructions)
- http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/ (Public Domain Images. All free to use)
- http://www.logodesignweb.com/stockphoto/ (Public Domain Photos. Be sure to click the link that says Usage Terms)
- http://public-domain.zorger.com/ (All Public Domain Images. This one doesn't have images up front. You'll need to search before you see any images.)
One more tip: I like to save large quantities of images to my computer before I need them (in folders and sub-folders). This prevents me from having to desperately search for the image I need when I'm in a crunch for time. To save the image, I name it for what it is, the add a hyphen, and the name of the site or original owner, so I can give the proper credit according to the rules of the originating site or owner. FYI, my favorite photographer of copyright free photos is Jon Sullivan. I have no idea why this guy lets his photos be used for free. As far as I'm concerned, he could be making good money for his work!
Jennifer Prestwich, REALTOR®
Your Castle Real Estate