October 19, 2009

All Your Images Are Not Belong To Us

I legally downloaded this image from iStockphoto.com

The other day, a friend of mine asked me for help looking up specific images online. When I found out that it was for a published project, I told him that he can't just take whatever pictures he wants off the internet. He could get into big trouble for copyright infringement.

And he says to me, "No it isn't. The internet is public domain."

Um...no. Materials found on the internet are not public domain.

You may notice that I've added a disclaimer to my blog stating that most of the photos and videos on this blog are not mine. They aren't. I don't claim that they are. I suppose I could do one better and put source links under each photo. Since this blog is not for profit, I don't really run too big of a risk in getting into trouble for using images that aren't mine. When I used to write anime and manga reviews though, publishers requested that I only use their sanctioned images.

It's unlikely that anyone will give you a hard time for using images from the internet for a school project or private blog, but when you get into the professional world, you will need to either provide your own images or purchase them from a stock image source. Here are some examples of places you can legally purchase images from:

Big Stock Photo
Stock Photo Expert

EDIT: How appropriate that I should post this on the day that the Shepard Fairy case in fair use vs. the Associated Press is back in the news.


  1. I work for an online school in the media end of the curriculum dept, and I have to try and explain this exact thing to countless developers over and over again. Everyone thinks that if they find it on Google images that they can do whatever they want with it.

  2. I am quite certain that school projects are totally protected, or else GigantoCorp could easily squash any and all academic inquiry into their products or practices.

    Thank you for this very valuable PSA, though. Here's to stopping stupidity where it starts: in their brains.

  3. Nice post teggy I hope your fans head your warning since many of them have started Blogging recently I would hate to see them get in trouble and then give up on their new endeavors

  4. *Cues up 'The More You Know' jingle*