Image Copyright & Licensing

Copyright Law and Infringements

Avoid Prosecution From Using Unlicensed Images

Let’s face it you need images for your blog posts! While it is always best to use your own photographs, 99% of the time it’s not practical when you simply want to write a quick post.


Unless you don’t mind getting into Copyright Lawsuits.

Recommended Image Repositories

My favorite Image Repository has always been Having said this, I never pay full-price as I always grab the annual deal on AppSumo for 100 images. The last deal was in October 2019. It cost $49 per coupon code which allowed for 100 image/vector downloads (credits). That was 6-times cheaper than DepositPhoto’s normal tariff of $299. (Now you know why I always buy this deal every year!). Alternatively, they also have two cheaper On-Demand plans which are; $49 for 10-images and $99 for 25-images. 

If you are willing to sign-up for a subscription then DepositPhotos have plans starting at $69 per month for 75-images or for the same quantity a yearly payment is $699. You should note however, that with a subscription plan you must use all your credits each month as they do not roll-over. Therefore, if you only want an image every now and again, the “On Demand” plan makes more sense.

As I write this article, there is a new kid in town on AppSumo. Yay Images was originally founded in 2008 by three Norwegians. They were previous Executives of ScanPix which was Norway’s largest Photo Agency. During the past year, the company has been acquired by new owners. So, to help relaunch their services they have made an off-the-chart deal to Sumolings. At just $59 for 1,000 images, this is a deal not to be missed!! You get a lifetime to select and download your images and vector graphics. For under 6-cents per image you will not find any cheaper deal ever!

Let's talk about copyright licensing

Not all images require a license fee to be paid before using them on your Blog. Images in the public domain are not copyright-protected and can be used by anyone for any purpose.

However, most images (such as drawings and photographs) are typically protected by copyright. If you want to use an image that you did not create, you must obtain specific permission from the copyright holder and agree on the terms of use.

A royalty is an agreed-upon fee paid for each use of a commercial item. One common commercial agreement to use an image is known as a “Royalty-Free” license.

Royalty-Free Images

The “free” in royalty-free does not mean there is no cost for the license but instead refers to being able to freely use the image without paying additional royalties. With Yay Images, for example, the contributors have in the main part (except for “Editorial” images) granted a “Royalty-Free license. This means that as a purchaser you opt to pay a one-time fee for use of the image on your Blog(s)/Website(s). Both Yay Images and Deposit Photos call this a “Credit”. You can then use the image as many times and in as many places as you choose.

Rights-Managed Images

A “Rights Managed” (R.M.) license is widely used for commercial transactions. An R.M. license includes a fee structure for use of the image, as well as possible restrictions on how long the image can be used, where it can be published, the type of media in which it can appear and the size and resolution of the image.

Editorial Images

You can not use a brand’s Trademark (such as on a Storefront) nor a photo of a Celebrity/Famous person for commercial purposes. These images come with an “Editorial” license and can be used with CAUTION!! You can not put the photo on a Tee-shirt or Mug and sell it as your product for example. If you are writing an article about that brand or person then in this situation it would be deemed as suitable to use an Editorial licensed image. The article must not be slanderous or derogatory in any shape or form!

Free Image Repositories

I said at the start of this article, “Never Use Free Images” and I meant it! With a free image repository, you never know where the image has come from. People may have inadvertently uploaded an image that is not in the public domain and actually requires some form of license. It is not uncommon to be fined in excess of $600 for the misuse of a single image.

THEY WILL FIND YOU!! Software bots are used to track down premium images that have not been licensed. If you can not prove you have paid for the license (even through a download credit from a paid image repository) then you are in serious breach of copyright. DON’T DO IT 

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