Find out if a photo on the internet is copyrighted

Although the web is full of images, photos, and multimedia content available to everyone, just by downloading and saving images from the internet, not all of them are available to us without copyright. This is something very important that not everyone ever has on a day-to-day basis and can become a real problem.

To help identify the photos that are on the Internet free of copyright, we are going to help us with several keys, but before that, we have to know the different modalities of rights. We must be aware that we are entering a somewhat complicated terrain and that is why we should not take everything literally, but always be cautious.

The different copyrights on Internet images

To begin with, we must know that not all images are the same, being differentiated by the rights that the author or authors have decided to grant them. This will be key when we can use them, divided into a series of sections that we are going to explain what they consist of.

Copyrighted Internet images

This first type of copyrighted image is the most common and only allows the authors to use the image. In these cases, there are not many exceptions because the modality would change and therefore it is very difficult to use these contents. The © symbol is used to identify copyrighted images.

Copyleft photos

The next option that exists is the one that allows the use of copies of the images according to the copyright that the owner wishes to assign. In this case, we will have to pay close attention to the properties that the owner has decided to grant them since it could allow us to use them in one way or another. It is represented by an inverted C inside a circle.

Creative Commons content

These are known as royalty-free images since they have Creative Commons licenses that make them free and accessible to any Internet user. However, it is not as easy as you think as they have some differences between them.

These accessible images can be divided in turn into different sections that become works that must be used with the following criteria marked by the author:

  • Attribution
  • Non-commercial
  • Share Alike
  • No derivative work

How to recognize royalty-free images on Google

Since the portal where we usually search for images is Google, as it is one of the most widespread search engines, we will try to help you to know which images have rights of some kind and which do not. This can be done with any sample image.

In our case the chosen search is “flowers” and as we can see in the image different types of images appear. Once we have selected one that suits us for our work or need is advisable to access the website because sometimes it tells us if it comes from a free image bank or has a differential license.

What do we do if we have doubts?

To find out what we have to do is to perform a reverse search in Google, which will help us to check in which other portals this same image appears. If there is no free image bank, we will have to suspect that we cannot use it without authorization.

If we find the owner, we can contact him so as not to gamble. He can give us his authorization and immediately save the email or a document, we can use it without legal problems.

Search for royalty-free images on Google

To not get too complicated, we can choose to do a search for royalty-free images, something that not everyone knows that you can do in Google. It only requires touching the tools section in Google Images.

Then we will have to choose if we want an image with Creative Commons permission and therefore follow the requirements of that specific owner. Otherwise, there are images with commercial licenses that require special permission to use them.

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