Click me

Can I Use that Picture?

Can The Terms, Laws, and Ethics for Using Copyrighted Images Can I Use that Picture? Yes! No! Fyou Yes! Probably. Yes! NO! Ifyou couldn't answer "yes" to If you are If your picture is in the public If you took a picture with your camera or if you drew or designed an image What if I On a case-by-case basis, created a picture using an image in an domain (meaning the original creator(s) any of the fair use questions and you haven't an image may be safe to and the concept was completely your own, that is so similar to released their rights to the image) or if you found the educational or research purchased or obtained permission to use the use under fair use laws someone else's that setting, for limited non-profit uses (don't you automatically own all copyrights to it and purchased the image and its copyright (like image, you should under no circumstances if the image is published in a non-biased way in order to inform or picture on social media or a no one can use it or distribute it without your it might be thought from a stock photo company), you can feel use the image, regardless of where you found permission. of as theirs, you distribute on a brocure, comfortable using the image for whatever you it. It is not only considered unethical to use cannot use your for example), or to just like. If your image is protected under creative another person's or company's image without educate the public for picture for anything other than personal hang on your wall, you are usually safe to commons, be sure to check the conditions permission, it is illegal. Yes the public's good. Yes Was the picture under which you can use it (you may not be No + use the image without albe to modify it or profit from it, for example). website? use. you created an permission. If you are uncertain if the image is in the public Yes No Not original idea? domain or creative commons, assume it is While the laws about Yes! fyou distributing images through social media channels like Facebook, Pinterest, and blogs are still fuzzy, it is generally considered acceptable to redistribute an image that was originally intended to be publicly viewed by the creator. This is why you will typically find original images re-posted on blogs, news sites, and social media channels even if When in doubt, not and avoid using it until you've obtained Yes! Did you purchase the image or obtain permission from the original do your research i If you are certain that it is permission. to find out if you completely rework the impossible to obtain Can I Use copied an idea. image so that it isn't permission from the Did you Otherwise, don't recognizeable from the original, you can use it. Or, if you completely person or entity that created the image that take or create use the picture for Is the image in the public domain or protected by creative commons the image yourself? anything other than limited personal (if the creator died Yes Picture? change the and no one owns the rights, for example), No use. meaning source? (as you you are usually safe to might in a use the image without agreements? Ask Yourself the Fair Use Questions parody), permission. No the person re-distributing the images didn't obtain permission to do so. you are usually safe to use Are you using the image for personal, non-profit, educational, research, or scholarly purposes AND are you using the image sparingly, only for limited purposes? Yes the image. Would it be considered impossible to obtain permission from the original source? Yes No However, much depends on the way in which you intend to use the image. It is unethical to redistribute an image on Facebook, for example, if a person didn't intend for the image to go No Will you be using the image for personal or commercial gain? (If you answered "No" to all the fair use questions, the use of your image would most likely be considered for personal or commercial gain.) Yes Are you transforming or repurposing the image to create a new purpse or meaning? public in the first place. It is also a form of plagiarism to post an image on your blog or website without citing the original source (and it is considered best practice to link back to the original source as well). No Yes Yes Are you publishing the image in a fact-based context or publication that benefits the public as a whole (such as in a news source where it is important that people see the image)? No Pay attention to the fair use laws and other questions to the left when considering using other images you find online. Be careful about using others' images for personal gain, commercial gain, and even formal presentations without obtaining Fair Use Public Domain Copyright The protection given to any created image or work from being copied or distributed without permission. All images are immediately given copyright to the creator when the image is created. Creative Commons The legal right to use copyrighted images as long as the images are used for educational, research, or personal or use or as long as the image benefits the pulic good in some way. Images that are copyrighted but that the creator has put provisions on their use. A creative commons license might stipulate, for example, that an image can be used as long as it isn't modified in any way. Images that no longer have copyright restrictions either because the creator willingly relinquished their copyright or because the creator is dead and no one owns the copyright. permission first. | 2014

Can I Use that Picture?

shared by TheVisualCommun... on Jul 25
Knowing the copyright laws for using images can be a bit tricky. Follow this series of questions to know if you can use a picture for your purposes or not.


Did you work on this visual? Claim credit!

Get a Quote

Embed Code

For hosted site:

Click the code to copy


Click the code to copy
Customize size