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image copyright: Understanding the importance of image reference

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Understanding the importance of image source

According to Jeff Bullas’, when an article has an image, the total views increase by 94%. In addition, images facilitate content engagement which further improves the click-through-rate. Thus, when you plan content marketing ideas for your website or blog, you should include images to the content get more views. Today there are uncountable sources of images on the internet. But does that authorise you to use any image from any random source? This article will help you understand why knowing the source of an image is crucial and how can you obtain images with no legal obligations. 

    Why should you not use images from the internet? 


    You probably have heard the word “copyright”, but what does it mean? Copyright is a type of intellectual property that protects owners of original works.

     It does not matter whether you found an image on Google or social media like Instagram; all of the photos are highly likely to be copyrighted. 

    There are some ways you can figure it out if an image has been issued copyrights:

    • Watermarks: the graphics, that owners put on the image they’ve created in order to show that the image is officially copyrighted 
    • Copyright symbol: If the image has a copyright symbol, that means the image has its official owner

    Even if you did not find any marks of symbols, there are still chances of the image having copyrights. If you take someone’s image, without their permission, they can accuse of stealing their work. 

    The accusation can end up with you being sued for stealing and infringement of copyrights by the owner and your business paying hefty fines for the crime. 

    Penalties for copyright infringements in Australia (LawAnswers Australia 2018) involve a fine that extends up to $585,000 for corporations and $117,000 for individuals and a possible imprisonment term up to 5 years. 

    Brand Image 

    Stealing allegations, along with severe penalties, will result in negative public criticism, tarnishing the brand’s image. 

    Thus, it is crucial to get the permission of using the image for commercial purpose to avoid public criticism towards the company. 

    Also, if you use the image that is FREE and can be used for commercial purpose, then you become a part of the herd as a lot of other websites might use the same picture. 

    It would be better if the company creates its unique work, that does not resemble any other sources.

     It will help the brand to stand out from the heard and look more professional. 

    Obtaining images legally

    There are some ways where you can get the images without breaking the law. 

    Free Image Library 

    Some online libraries provide free images such as:

    • Flickr: An American image and video hosting service. 
    • Pixabay: A warehouse of images, where you can find some FREE pictures.
    • Rawpixel: library of images, where you can download up to 100 images per month from their FREE collection.

    Purchasing image

    If you cannot find any free images that match the requirements or the free images have low resolution, you might consider purchasing it. 

    There are a lot of websites where you can buy them legally: 

    • IStock: One of the world’s leading stock content marketplaces, offering millions of images at a low price.
    • Depositphotos: A royalty-free stock photography agency based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

    Creating your own pictures, images, videos

    That probably would be the best way, as your work will be authentic and unique. 


    When you are taking the image that you want, always ask for permission or find the information whether you can obtain the image. 

    You must always try to link the image to the original owner, in order to show who created and who has all the rights of the images and give them their due credit. 

    Creative Commons (CC)

    There are a lot of users who take images under CC. But what does it mean? Creative Commons is a license, which means the original creator releases the rights under certain conditions that must be followed. 

    Here are some websites where you can look for images that are under CC: 

    • CC Search: A portal, where you can find Creative Commons licensed images
    • Google Images: Through advanced searches settings you can find CC-licensed images
    • Pexels: A vast stock, where you can find more FREE images under CC license. 

    Understand the implications associated with using random pictures and ensure that the images and videos of your content are legally acceptable. 

    This will save you from legal hassles related to the crime and protect your brand’s image. 

    Follow this article suggestions to avoid any further problems with the ownership of the images or videos. 

    Visit The Hash Agency to get a FREE website audit and book 30 minutes consultation, to obtain more information about digital marketing services, that the agency provides. 

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