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Embed Video and Images Without Copyright Infringement

Updated on January 17, 2011
If you click on an image from Google Images, you will get a message like this.  The image you are looking at probably is copyrighted.
If you click on an image from Google Images, you will get a message like this. The image you are looking at probably is copyrighted. | Source

Are Google Images Copyrighted?

Most of the images you find on Google Images are copyrighted. You can click on the image to find the source and ask permission to use the image. That seems like a lot of work to me though. So where can you find good, free, legal images?

Most wikiMedia images are in the public domain. If you use wikipedia to find your images then you can research the image (click on it from wikipedia and it will take you to a page that says what if any copyright or term exist for use of that image). This is a good source if you want an image of a celebrity or a historical image.

Clip Art Collections. I own one called 1.5 Million Clip Art. It cost about $50 if I remember right. You can pick up a clip art or photo collection from about $5 to $100 from Staples or Office Depot. Occasionally even Walmart will have one. This gives you thousands of images that you can search by topic and are (once you pay for the collection) licensed to use in your own work. There are also some clip art and stock photo sites online you can join. They probably have more and better pictures. At least I hope they do since they want per month what the CD collections cost in total.

Understand Copyrights

Avoiding Plagerism

YouTube Videos

The great thing about YouTube is that part of their terms of service state that you agree to share and allow embedding of your video if you post it. If you don't like that, then you have an option of disabling the embed code for your video.

So... if you find a video on YouTube that you like, then you can feel pretty good that the person who posted the video will not come back to haunt you in the future.

What it doesn't guarantee is that the person who posted the video wasn't committing some kind of copyright infringement. Use some common sense about which videos you use. If it looks like they made it, then it's probably fine. If it looks like they copied a Disney video beware. (I've noticed a lot of Disney stuff has been reported and removed... there are also some music artists who are more diligent about seeking out and removing their copyrighted material than others.)

Even though according to intellectual property rights laws, you could be held responsible for embedding a video on your pages, the most likely thing that will happen is the video is reported to YouTube and removed. Leaving you with nothing worse than a broken link.

Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?

Better to Err on the Side of Caution

While I would not worry too much about going to jail, I would try to find and use resources that are clear in their terms of service (like YouTube) that sharing is allowed. If you want a regular source of good images that you are allowed to use, try a clip art collection and/or a photo disk. Bookmark the best free image sites. And never assume that something you found on the Internet is not copyrighted, because it probably is.

Clip Art Collections that Can Help Ease Your Copyright Concerns

Hub #12 of 30
Hub #12 of 30 | Source


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    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      6 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Nice useful information. finding free images without any restrictions is a big task.

      Voted up and useful.

    • Tony Locicero profile image

      Tony Locicero 

      7 years ago from Inverness Florida

      Great Article!!

    • iamalegend profile image


      7 years ago from EARTH

      very helpful information. Thanks to CDL and japtaker question.

    • japtaker profile image

      Justin Aptaker 

      7 years ago from United States

      This was very helpful. Thank you.

    • CDL Career Coach profile imageAUTHOR

      CDL Career Coach 

      7 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Thanks, be sure to check out the links to other hubs too, they have even better info...especially the one for stock photos because they found good websites with free photos to use.

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      Very useful information.


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