Using Morguefile Free Images on a Website
Morguefile has an extensive free image library you can use on a website. However, you need to be aware that not all photos they show you are free. Whie there are thousands of photos to use on your website, blogs or other online writing (including on sites like Hubpages), you do have to be aware of what you're looking at, so you're sure you've used it legally.
I've written this article to help the beginner pick their way carefully round the Morguefile free photos section, so you don't end up frustrated, annoyed and still without an image you can use.
Knowing where to find free images - and then trying to understand them so you use them legally is a minefield for first-timers. The wording and language used doesn't help at all.
Understanding the Morguefile License
You can find the Morguefile License at http://www.morguefile.com/license/morguefile. When you go there, there is a Plain English version of their full license.
What this tells you is how you can use it, but you need to understand what the wording means.
Let's take one item at a time:
- You are Free to Remix, to adapt the work. This means you can make changes to the original image. You might be cropping it, or adding bits to it, or removing some parts. You can use this image to join together with other images you're working with.
- You are free to use this work for commercial purposes. This statement is enough to cover you for use on your OWN website, or in blogs/writing sites you contribute to (e.g. like Hubpages).
- You are free to use the image without attributing the original author. This means you do not have to provide any link to the author's website or image, nor give their name at all.
Now, the next section tells you what you are not allowed to do and includes:
- Stand-alone basis: You can not sell, license, sub-license, rent, transfer or distribute this image exactly as it is without alteration. This means you cannot "steal" the image and take it from here and upload it to another library where you sell it. It also means you can't collect your own library of images together an charge people fees to use the image. Note the wording at the end where it says "without alteration" - that means that it would be possible for you to use the image and change it, then sell it or add it to an image library. These are not things bloggers/writers need to concern themselves with - this rule is for people who are trading in images and making an income from selling images.
- Ownership: You may not claim ownership of this image in its original form. This means you cannot take the image and use it as it is, then say it's yours. Note the words at the end, "in its original form" - this means that if you use the image as part of a bigger project of your own work, then it's OK to say the end image is your own. Again, this type of rule is aimed at graphic designers more than bloggers/writers.
How to Find the Free Photos on Morguefile
While there are many free images on Morguefile that you can use on your website, there are also many images that you have to buy. Their business model is to offer free images, and to offer paid images alongside, hoping that people will end up buying images as they tend to be better, or closer to what a designer might be after.
For bloggers/writers, the importance of getting "exactly the right image" is much less. We're happy for an image that's "OK to convey or show what I mean".
First - notice the Free Images link and click it. When you click, you're taken to a page that has a tabbed section.
Notice the four tab names:
The last three of these are what are known as Image Libraries, or Photo Libraries. While each of them may have some free images, in the main their purpose is to sell you images. If you look through you'll probably see that every image has a watermark on it.
Look at the images in the Morguefile tab and there are no watermarks.
Morguefile Free Photo Search Box
On the right hand side, you might notice there is a search box, notice this says "Free Photos" alongisde it. This is a clue that you've not strayed elsewhere. You need to always be scanning/checking that you're still in the free photos section in case you wandered off....
Type what you're looking for into the search box and press the FREE PHOTOS button.
Once you are shown the results, look down and see if there's one you want. For now, just click any one as there's something you need to see.
You're now at the final check part. Having clicked on an image, you should see all the photo information on your screen. But, you can confirm at this point that you have chosen a photo that has the Free License.
You need to be seeing this:
Does It Say Free License?
That's all you're looking for - they tell you right there that the photo is available under their Free License. That means you can use it on your blogs, websites, for your writing, etc.
Notice they handily remind you exactly what the license is:
You are allowed to copy, distribute, transmit the work and to adapt the work. Attribution is not required. You are prohibited from using this work in a stand alone manner.
So there it is. Now download it - they don't even force you to open an account.
Using The Images
Now you've downloaded the image you can use any Image Editor to change, mix, crop or alter the image so it suits your needs.
Graphic designers typically use Photoshop software to produce high quality images - but for many people, free graphics programs such as Paint.net are more than sufficient to do the job.
More From This Author:
- Using Images and Photos Legally On Your Website
When you are building your own website, you will want to add in photos. But how do you know if you are allowed? Where do you find photos for your website? The Internet is full of photos and they seem to be freely available but mostly it is illegal to
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