Question: Are images that appear on Google or Yahoo in the public domain? Can I use them on my website as long as I say where they came from?
For links to free images, click here.
Answer: In general, images on the internet are NOT in the public domain and are therefore protected by copyright. If they are licensed under the Creative Commons, you will be able to use them more freely, but you still need to comply with the Creative Commons (CC) license terms, such as attribution for CC-BY, non-commercial use for CC-BY-NC, etc.)
Copyright protects the owner from unlicensed (without permission) public display of the protected work. Attribution (citing the source) is not a defense against copyright infringement.
There are many images online that are available for re-use at no charge (links below), but these come with conditions which may include, among others:
1) You must include attribution or a link to the photographer's website;
2) You may not use images in commercial works, i.e. works you are selling or earning money from; and
3) You may not provide the images to others, i.e. they must obtain the images from the website of origin.
To search for images that you can use for free for non-commercial use, see below:
(please comply with their conditions for free use)
- Public Domain Sherpa
- Free Digital Photos
- Free Images
- Images Philippines
- Directory of Creative Commons Images