How to Ensure Your Blog Images Aren’t in Breach of Copyright

A contact of ours recently received a notification to say that an image on their blog was used without license or permission.  It’s therefore time for a refresher on what you can and can’t do in terms of images on your blog.


Google Images

Google have changed their search filters in terms of usage.  It used to be quite clear which images you could use – Labeled for Reuse and Labeled for Reuse with Modification features.  The image search filters now give you just three options: All, Creative Commons Licenses or Commercial & other licenses.  This makes is more difficult to use images from these searches without attribution to the original creator.  You can read more about this here.


So what are the easy options?


Create Original Artwork

If you have time and even the smallest creative streak then the safest option is to create your own original artwork to use on websites, blogs and social media posting.  We have been using Canva for our images – you can pick templates, elements and fonts – all copyright free


Copyright Free Images

copyright free imagesWe often need images to accompany social media postings.  We have been using Pixabay for a number of years now – over 2.3 million high quality free images and royalty free stock. Just search your topic and select the image.  The licensing is pretty clear and many say “Free for commercial use.  No attribution needed”.

Another image website we have been introduced to is Unsplash. Again these are freely-usable images. Under the Unsplash license photos can be downloaded and used for free, for commercial and non-commercial uses, with no attribution needed.


There are some other options but they do require a bit more research including:

Flickr: The CommonsFlickr, the biggest photo sharing site has several options to find stock images.  Many institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute and The Library of Congress have participated in providing images.  The British Library alone has over 1 million images free of copyright restrictions.

Tip: When selecting an image, look at the right hand side for “some rights reserved” and click to see what the restrictions are.

Creative CommonsThese licenses allow authors to give other people the right to use their work. You can find many of these images in the Google images filter.  However you will need to give appropriate credit, a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if any changes are made.


In a world where “a picture can tell a thousand words” we hope we have made it easier for you to find the right copyright free image for your blog.  However, If you do need help in creating original artwork then do get in touch with us –


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