Free images are essential as they help you to reduce costs. Particularly, if you are operating on a fixed budget, the free stock photos save several dimes in your marketing campaigns. While there are many sources available for downloading free images from the website, you need to understand several licenses attached to each.

With this knowledge, it will be easier for you to avoid standing in the bars or facing the Google’s knife for infringing copyright laws. Here are the three facts you need to know about creative common, public domain and royalty free images and their licenses:

a)    Creative Common images are free but with restrictions

If you search for free images on the internet, common creative pictures and images will be the first result. While these images are free, you are not free to use them anyhow. Each image under this category has some license describing the terms of use for a given photo you download.

The licenses can be divided into two: those requiring attribution and the ones requiring zero attributions. Also, these images have some copyrights attached to them.  For this reason, before using images labeled as creative common you need to consider its license. 

b)    Royalty-Free images 

While these images are thought to be free for use, it does not mean they are free. To use them, you need to pay a fee for acquiring them. With the term royalty-free, they expect that you’re not going to pay a royalty fee to the owner any moment you use the image. As such, this type is a good option for obtaining high-quality images at a lower price. You can, therefore, use it to obtain images for your blog ads, offers, illustration and any other visual purpose.


c)    Public Domain images

Unlike royalty free and creative common, these images come with zero copyright obligations. In the real sense, most of the copyrights of pictures and images in the public domain sources have expired. Hence, you can use them for whichever purpose you want.

However, this public domain does not refer to an image in the internet or social media. If you have not obtained a picture from the sites termed as the public domain, you should not use it without seeking copyright from the owner.

All in all, with the right understanding of the license and copyright attributed with each free image, you will avoid violation fines and conflicts. Also, it will help you to escape other issues that may hurt your site.