March 16, 2023

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement When Using Free Pictures Online

By Morkven

When it comes to finding images for your website, blog, or social media accounts, using free pictures online can be a great option. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re not infringing on anyone’s copyright when using these images. In this article, we’ll look at some best practices for avoiding copyright infringement when using free pictures online.

1. Understand copyright laws

Before you start using free pictures, it’s important to understand what copyright is and the laws around it. Copyright is a legal right that protects creators from having their work stolen or appropriated without permission. In most cases, the copyright owner has the exclusive right to control the reproduction and distribution of their work.

When it comes to images, copyright protection applies to photographs, illustrations, drawings, sketches, paintings, and other types of visual art. If you use someone’s copyrighted image without permission, you risk being sued for copyright infringement, which can result in hefty fines and legal fees.

2. Choose reputable sources

When looking for free images online, it’s important to choose reputable sources that guarantee that the images are free to use. There are plenty of websites that offer images that are free to use and share, such as Unsplash and Pexels. These websites have a vast collection of high-quality images that can add flair to your website, blog or social media account.

3. Read the terms of use

Before you download any images from a website, make sure you take the time to read the terms of use. Some websites may require you to credit the photographer, while others may require you to obtain permission before using the image.

It’s especially important to check the terms of use if you plan to use the images for commercial purposes, as some free imagery websites may have restrictions on commercial use. Always read the terms and conditions, so you know what rights you have to the image before you use it.

4. Use Creative Commons images

Creative Commons licenses allow people to use copyrighted images while giving the creator credit. If you’re looking for free images for commercial use, Creative Commons is an excellent resource. To use Creative Commons images, you need to attribute the image to the creator and follow the guidelines set out in the license.

5. Modify images

If you want to use an image for commercial purposes, consider altering it to create a new work. You might change the color or add text to make the image unique. When you modify an image, you’re creating a new work that you may have the rights to use without violating the copyright owner’s rights.

6. Ask for permission

If you find an image that you really want to use but are unsure if you can use it without infringing on someone’s copyright, don’t hesitate to ask the copyright owner for permission. If you can’t find the copyright owner, try to find the original source of the image and contact them to ask for permission to use the image.

7. Buy stock images

If you want to use images for commercial purposes and can’t find the right image for free, consider buying a stock photo. Many stock photography websites offer high-quality images for a reasonable price, with options to purchase individual images, a subscription, or a credit pack.

Stock photography websites often have a wide variety of images that you can purchase and use commercially without worrying about infringing someone’s copyright. Plus, many of these websites offer the option to modify or edit the images, allowing you to create unique content that meets your specific needs.


Using free pictures online can add visual appeal to your website or social media account, but it’s essential to do so responsibly. Copyright infringement is a serious issue; it can result in hefty fines and legal fees, not to mention damage to your reputation. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can enjoy adding free pictures to your content while respecting copyright laws.