Notes from 05-07-2015

This month for our users and bloggers meetup we have Connie Oswald Stofko from Buffalo-Niagara Gardening presenting on how to use images legally for the web, as well as a general Q&A.

Below are the notes from Connie’s Presentation:

How to Use Photos Without Getting into Trouble

Notes for talk by Connie Oswald Stofko

Buffalo WordPress Users Group
May 7, 2015

A few of guidelines:
Just because a photo is on the Internet, it doesn’t mean you can use it.
Taking a photo from a website, then giving that site credit or linking back to the website, doesn’t constitute fair use.

Even if a photo isn’t labelled with the word “copyright” or the © symbol, the photo may still be copyrighted.
Always get permission before using a copyrighted photo. Start by contacting the website where you found the photo.
If you can’t get permission, use a different photo.
There are sites where you can find photos you can use. See the list below.

If you get caught using a copyrighted photo on your website or blog without permission:

  • You may be required to remove the photo from your website.
  • You may be required to pay fees to the copyright holder, even though you have removed the photo.
  • If you refuse to remove the photo, your website could be shut down.

Places to find photos you can use
In addition to this list, there may be specialized sites for your topic. Examples:

Ball Horticultural for photos of plants

Insect images

All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero, which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash. One drawback to this site is that it isn’t easily searchable.

The images are free as long as you stick to the rules in the Image license Agreement. Also, in some cases you may need to notify the artists about using the images and sometimes you need to give credit to them. The quality of the images varies.

A morgue file is a newspaper term for the place where they store files after production. morgueFile says its purpose is to provide free image reference material for use in all creative pursuits and to be the morgue file for the Internet. In addition to offering free photos, this site links to other paid sites. You can easily find yourself on one of the paid sites.

Photos8 is a paid site with more of a worldwide flavor rather than an American flavor. Photos suitable for the Internet cost $2 each. is a subscription-based website that provides members with unlimited downloads of stock graphics, stock images, icons, buttons, backgrounds, textures and more. Instead of charging per download, they allow members to download as much as they want. You can subscribe by the month for $49 or by the year for $588. There is a seven-day free trial.

This is a paid site, but it has lots of photos that are geared for blogs and websites. You can buy credits or buy a subscription.


The Best Ways to Be Sure You’re Legally Using Online Photos (written by a lawyer, Sara Hawkins)

The $8,000 Mistake That All Bloggers Should Beware

Photography and Copyright Law (Very good for explaining to photographers what their rights and options are.)