I've always chosen my Hub images carefully, from sources that offer appropriately licensed images or public domain images.
Lately I've been getting suspicious of a few of my sources.
Sometimes when I do a Google image search it turns up the same image on multiple stock photo sites in addition to the sites I use. I understand the photographer is generally licensing the photos through those sites.
So, when I see the same photo on multiple sites, does that mean the same photographer has his photos on the site I am using, plus a bunch of others?
Or, is it more likely that the photo has been unscrupulously submitted to a site where it doesn't belong?
I think Google sucks images out of everywhere and so being in the Google list does not imply that the image is not in public domain. Better to link to original source, though.
Understood. I didn't mean to imply I'm getting images from Google image search. That's not smart.
What I mean is, when I view an image on freedigitalphotos for example, a Google search often turns up the same image on Shutterstock and other sites.
If the photographer places it in public domain it may be posted on other sites. Some other sites may 'accidentally' forget the photographer's name - if not followed up on it.
As Spahi said, unless a site wants an exclusive, photographers can upload images to multiple sites. However, I'm sure some of those places are getting to be as bad as some of the clipart sites in that they claim to be something they're not and steal photos from all over the web. I haven't used many of those sites myself (the stock photo places), but if I ever do, I'd stick with the ones that have been around seemingly forever. Chances are they're legit while some of the newer ones may be ripping off the copyright holder.
One photographer doesn't have to be limited to just one stock photo site. The photographer owns the image, so he is free to upload them to multiple sites.
But there is an exception, if a stock photo site (the one he choses to sign up to) says in their agreement that photos can only be exclusive to their site, then he can't upload them to other ones.
In a nutshell, he can as long as its not against the stock photo site TOS and as long he doesn't sign an exclusive agreement with one site.
Simply, yes he can.
Thanks for the insight! So its not necessarily a red flag to see the same images on multiple sites.
Off the top of your head, do you know of any stock photo sites that expect exclusive agreements and forbid their photographers from using the images elsewhere?
It would be very unusual for a photographer to both creatively commons license a work for unpaid commercial use, and license it to be sold as royalty free stock.
But my tendency would be to use the photo under the license provided with a link back to where it is currently CC for unpaid use. Unless it is truly a suspicious photo I think using it this way in good faith is unlikely to cause problems.
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