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Looking for photos to spruce up your website but you don’t want to spend money on expensive stock photos? Read this article and discover where to find free images for commercial use!

Let’s face it – nobody wants to admit when they are wrong or they don’t want to say that they are a included in illegal acts, however, if you are using photos on your website, you might be doing that.

Being informed and understanding copyright law is not simple and the more you understand the more you discover that there are plenty of gray areas. Even though nobody is accusing the nation’s small business owners of committing a serious crime, the law itself demands that you know the law.

Introduction to Fair Use – What is Fair Use?

The first thing you need to learn is fair use. You should be familiar with this term as fair use gives you the right to use online photos that aren’t yours. Fair use is a part of the copyright code that allows anybody to use a photo for a limited time providing it does not obstruct the owner’s rights as the copyright owner. For example, if you are writing an online review about a certain product, you can use a photo of the product from the company’s official website.

But, please bear in mind that fair use would not cover the utilization of a random photo you found online. In this case, you are using the photo in a commercial setting (if you are using the photo for your website or blog) and you are probably using the photo in its entirety. We advise all individuals who want to learn more about fair use, to check out the copyright law or more specifically the section 107.

For website owners who have a basic knowledge of copyright law, they truly believe that the copyright owner has to ask them to remove the photo. If the individual complies, the copyright owner is not allowed to sue. This is not true, and you should remember this! There are plenty of situations where people are paying huge fines to copyright owners just because they used their photo.

Here is another example, a lot of people think that if you are running a small business, nothing can happen. But, regardless of your size, you can find yourself in a trouble. You can receive a lawsuit and you will have to pay an expensive fine.

In order to stay away from legal problems and complications, here is how to get get some great photos on your website or blog without finding yourself in a serious legal trouble:

  • Burst Free Images – If you want to find free images for commercial use, you need to find royalty free sites that allow you to pay an upfront fee to use a photo without having to pay expensive ongoing royalties.
  • Free Sites – You can find hundreds of free sites that exist to give people photos free of charge. The websites such as Little Visuals, Unsplash, Death to the Stock Photo allow you to do whatever you like with their photos.
  • Creative Commons Photos – Creative Commons licensing enables you to use photos any way you like as long as you attribute the work to its owner. The name of the creator has to be printed and shown on the page where the photo resides.

So, remember, you can’t just grab an image from Google and use it in your webpage or blog post. You need to gain permission first and be absolutely sure you can use the image!