How To Legally Use Google Images

If you’ve ever been on the internet (pretty much everyone has been on the internet, you’re even on the internet right now), then you’ve probably searched for, copied and published an image that you found on Google Image Search.

Maybe you wanted to find a funny meme to post on your friend’s facebook wall. Or you wanted to add an image to make your blog more visual. There are many reasons to search and share images from Google Images. But what you might not know, is that just because you were able to find an image on Google, it doesn’t automatically give you the right to use it in whatever way you see fit.

In fact, if you use an image you found on Google (or anywhere else for that matter) without the image copyright holders permission, then you are opening yourself up to a potential lawsuit that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and even bring your business to its knees. Who owns the copyright for an image?

It varies country by country, but in the United States, for example, the person who takes the picture owns the copyright from the second they take it. They don’t even have to register the copyright in court.


Once they click the shutter, they own the copyright and if you use the image without their permission, they can sue you and will very likely win.

Avoiding Copyright Infringement

What can you do if you need to add an image to make your content more appealing, but you don’t have the budget to purchase an image? There is so much confusion about the use of images online. That’s why PikWizard decided to create a photography copyright infographic called “Lock Stock And Plenty Of Lawsuits.” Find out when you can (and can’t) use images and learn where to find free images.

Besides Pikwizard (obvs), What’s your favorite source for free images? Tweet us @getdesignwizard to let us know.

Creative commons copyright infographic

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