No, You Can't Just Use Photos from Google

Not all of us know this, but you can't just take photos from Google and use them in a website or marketing campaign – it's illegal. For those who already knew that you'd be surprised by how many don't. 

Photos, like other creative works, are copyrighted by their creator the moment they are created. The intellectual property rights belong to the creator unless willfully surrendered. Some photographers have taken steps to ensure their rights are respected legally. With impressive tools like TinyEye copyright holders can easily find you and when found, they may sue you.

Make no mistake, when there is money to be made, copyright holders don't miss an opportunity to strike. It's important to understand copyright law and avoid finding yourself on the wrong end of a lawsuit.

Images that are marked as Public DomainCreative Commons or royalty free are safe to use as long as you follow the licensing guidelines. Never use photos that were not explicitly licensed for your use. For websites offering stock photos that you CAN use, check out my resources page at agarciatv.com/resources.

The photo used in this post was generously provided by NASA and can be found at grin.hq.nasa.gov.


DISCLAIMER: The content in this post is offered only as a public service to the web community and does not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. This post is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from an attorney licensed or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction.