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Let me guess, you have taken an image directly from Google and used it on your website.

I get it. Believe it or not, I actually did the same thing in the past.

However, did you know that by doing that, you broke the law?

The thing is that images, just like music and film, have usage rights. Meaning that, in many cases, you have to have approval from the author in order to use the image on your website.

And while some photos are labeled for reuse, that doesn’t always mean they can be used commercially.

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What does labeled for commercial reuse mean?

Personally, I feel that many of the resources on the Internet explain usage rights in a confusing matter, so I feel that there are two ways to explain what being labeled for commercial reuse means.

1) The most common explanation: labeled for commercial reuse means that you can reuse a photo in any way, even commercially.

2) My more simple explanation: if you have an image that is labeled for commercial use, it means that you can use it for commercial purposes and for noncommercial purposes.

This means that these images can be used in any capacity without modification.

As an example, if you find an image that is labeled for commercial reuse, you are able to use it on your own website, your own product, your own materials, or any other collateral that you’d like.

Oftentimes people think that usage rights are just legal jargon that can be ignored, but I recommend that you check out my blog post, which outlines how Getty images have made a substantial profit off of small business owners who willingly or unknowingly steal website images.

Something important to realize is that you should always give attribution to the individual who owns the photo. I say this because it gives credit where credit is due, and I’m a big advocate of that, considering there are so many people ripping off other people’s content.

Where can I get website images?

Ah yes, the elusive website images that you have been looking for which will make your website whole. I get it; you’ve read that you should always use images on your website but have no idea where to find them. The good news is I have two resources for you that should really help.

If you need really high-quality images, I highly recommend that you use Shutterstock.

This is the same company that I use for my really high-quality images, and I’ve joined their affiliate program because I know that this is a company that has great images at a very low cost compared to competitors. I’ve seen many times when images can cost upwards of a few hundred dollars, and Shutterstock really reduces that cost substantially.  I even wrote a Shutterstock review to help you better understand the platform.

Need Images For Your Website? Click Here to try Shutterstock

If you’ve found a database of images and you see that they are not filtered by license, make sure to understand your possible use cases prior to posting the images.

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