How to Determine Public Domains Images and Legally Use Them

Determine Public Domains ImagesAnyone who uses a photo without a permission can find themselves in serious troubles! Here is how to determine public domains images and legally use them!

 What was once an online space filled with scrolling and code text, today it is the largest conglomerate of photos in the world. Yes, we are talking about the Internet. And as visual content becomes more and more important, the number of photos available will only grow. Just because you can find a photo on Google, copy or save the photo, doesn’t mean that you can use the photo however you like.

Anyone who uses a photo without a permission can find themselves in a serious trouble. Knowing and understanding the ins and outs of photo licensing and utilization can save web designers, digital marketers, and others from unnecessary troubles.

In this article, we will discuss how to determine public domains images and how to be absolutely sure you are allowed to legally use the photo:

 You need to ask yourself – Is the photo your original creation? Did you capture the photo yourself?

  • If the photo is not your original creation you need to determine if it is free for a fair use. You need to know exactly how you will use the photo and determine its purpose – news, comment, critics, teaching, reporting, and etc. If this is your plan you must check if your use of the photo may be considered fair. If your plan is to profit commercially or personally from publishing the photo you need to check if the image is a part of the Public Domain or if the image is protected by Creative Commons. If the photo is in the public domain, the authors release the publication rights. The images that are protected by Creative Commons may be used for different purposes by certain conditions must be considered. If you have purchased the photo, you are free to use for whatever purpose you like and if you didn’t purchase the photo, you shouldn’t use it under no circumstances.
  • If the photo is your original idea, you automatically own the copyright. If the idea for the design was not yours and someone else took the photo, you can’t use it. If you are not really sure if the photo is your original idea, it is better to be extra careful when using it. Make your own research and confirm that you haven’t copied someone else’s idea.

 When in doubt, make sure to obtain a permission from the author or create an original photo by yourself.

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