What Kind of Images Can I Use on My Blog?

To use an image on your blog without violating any laws, you need permission. You can get permission by requesting it from the image owner, or you can find sources that provide images with copyrights attached to them that allow you to republish them on your blog. The most common copyright licenses you need to understand are:rights-managed, royalty-free, and Creative Commons.

Rights-Managed
Rights-managed copyright licenses are based on usage and require that you either pay the owner for the rights to use the images on your blog or get permission to use the images on your blog. Typically, you must pay a fee each time you want to use a rights-managed image.
An example of a site that offers rights-managed images is Getty Images (www.gettyimages.com).
Royalty-Free
Royalty-free copyrighted images typically come with a price tag, but you can pay one time and use the purchased image again and again. Some royalty-free images don’t have price tags but do come with restrictions that require you to credit the source or perform other actions in order to use them as dictated by the image owner.Royaltyfree images are often referred to as stock images.An example of a site that offers royalty-free images is stock.XCHNG (sxc.hu), which offers both images for free (with restrictions attached) and for a fee.

Creative Commons
Creative Commons (creativecommons.org) is an organization that helps owners of original works share those works in a less-restrictive manner than copyright laws allow. Creative Commons offers six types of licenses:

  • Attribution: Anyone can republish the work with proper attribution to the owner.
  • Attribution Share Alike: Anyone can modify the work in any way and republish it with proper attribution to the owner as long as the new version of the work is licensed using the same Creative Commons license as the original work.
  • Attribution No Derivatives: Anyone can republish the work with proper attribution to the owner as long as no changes are made to the work.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial: Anyone can republish the work for noncommercial purposes with proper attribution to the owner.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike: Anyone can modify the work in any way and republish it for noncommercial purposes with proper attribution to the owner as long as the new version of the work is licensed using the same Creative Commons license as the original work.
  • Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives: Anyone can republish the image for noncommercial purposes with proper attribution to the owner and as long as no changes are made to the work. 
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