Aren’t you sure about what images you should post? Are you wondering whether using Google images or not? Don’t you know what the CC symbol appearing in some images means? Don’t worry! This post will clear up all your doubts.

Can I use Google Images?

If you have ever used any Google image for your posts, you might have been lucky to choose a royalty free image…or you might not. The reason is that Google is a search engine, not an image bank so most images are copyrighted.

However, its search tools enable you to filter images by usage rights but we recommend accessing free image banks because sometimes Google displays images having the wrong license.

Copyright vs Intellectual Property Rights

Every single image has been created by someone who the Intellectual Property Law acknowledge the right to be considered as author and grant all communication rights, distribution rights… These rights last throughout the author’s lifetime. Once 50 years have elapsed since author’s death, works became part of the Public Domain. This means that we can use them without needing to ask for permission or pay.

On the other hand, copyright concerns economic rights: authors can transfer their works by selling or leaving them as legacy, demand payment for its use…

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization and it is based on the idea that some people may not wish to exercise all intellectual property rights that they are granted by law. There are different licenses:

CC0: No Rights Reserved. Authors won’t exercise any right so we can reuse the works without restriction.

CC BY: Attribution. It is allowed to distribute, even commercially, and build upon works. We only have to credit original author for the creation.

CC BY NC: Attribution-Non Commercial. It is allowed to build upon original works, but not to commercially distribute them and we always must credit original author for the creation

CC BY NC SA: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. It is allowed to build upon original works, but not to commercially distribute them. New creations must be licensed under identical terms.

CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: It is forbidden to use works or derivative works commercially, crediting original author.

CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike: Commercial use and derivative works are allowed but they must always be licensed under identical terms.

CC BY-ND: Attribution-NoDerivs. Commercial use is allowed but derivative works aren’t. We always must credit original author.

So, what should I do when posting images on my blog or website?

If you want to use copyrighted images, you must pay license fees.

When using CC-licensed images, always fulfill license conditions chosen by authors.

In case you can’t or you don’t want to pay for images, the best option is using your own images or accessing image banks, but we will deal with this issue in another post.