When you use an image from a website in one of your pages, assuming it is not specifically labelled as copyrighted with permission refused for public use, one should still give credit to the photographer or site.
However, often one wants to use an image which has been reproduced / copied a multiple number of times already on the web. In these circumstances, do you just acknowledge the page you actually copied the image from, or do you have to seek out the original source of the image? Suppose as an example, you copy the image from someone's blog, but they in turn have clearly copied the picture from another site (without acknowledging the original site). Should you:
1) Find the original site which first published the image (which may well be impossible to discover)?
2) Credit the blogger, even though all they've done is just copy the image, as you are doing?
3) Or is it necessary to credit anyone, if the image has clearly been duplicated many times and the original source is undetectable?
You should make sure it is copyright free. Just because someone else used it does not mean you can take it.
If it's not specifically labelled, you can't use it. It's copyright.
With photos the rule is this: if there isn't a label or note saying the photo is free to use, in the public domain, or available under license, then it's copyright and it's illegal to use it.
Unfortunately a lot of people don't understand that and copy it anyway - but in my book, that doesn't matter. Two wrongs don't make a right! For instance, if you see other people throwing litter in the street, does that mean it's OK for you to throw litter too? same thing, IMO.
The easiest way is to use images that are in the public domain. I also check that they have a notification on them that they are OK for commercial use.
Images posted on the web are copyrighted unless a caption specifically informs you it's in the public domain.
It might be a stock photo the website has paid to license (that is, the photographer makes a living by charging a small fee for others to use his/her work). One of the perks of paying for a stock photo is that (often) you are not required to give an image credit; money, not a link, is the unit of exchange for traditional stock photography.
It might be a photo illegally copied from somewhere else.
Or it might be the writer's own photo, in which case it's copyrighted, but other people have stolen it. Don't be like them!
Thanks to those who have replied to this question. I appreciate your comments.
I don't really agree that if a photo is not captioned, it automatically means it is definitely copyrighted, because the kind of photos I've been looking for in the past are frequently historic photos used multiple times on obscure little blogs and personal pages, and it's quite clear in many cases that these blogs and pages have taken the images from elsewhere. Unfortunately it's often not clear whether they've stolen the images from a copyrighted site or paid for them or whether they are free pictures in the public domain. Sometimes none of the multiple copies of a particular image brought up in a google search appear to relate to an original copyrighted site (if indeed there is one). That's when it becomes a bit frustrating, if the image ideally suits your purposes, and you can't uncover whether it is in the public domain or not.
However, be that as it may, I do accept that in the absence of any info on a page, there's no way of knowing for sure whether the page has copyright or whether it has paid to use the photo, so I do agree it is best just to use photos from genuine free photo libraries. Since asking this question I have looked around the web and found there is actually a much wider range of sites offering free photos on a wider range of subjects than I had realised existed before. So it is perhaps a little easier to find free to use images than I had thought.
That's good - images add so much to a hubpage, but the income generated by my pages is much too low to justify much expense in purchasing these images. I'll just have to find as many free image sites as I can!!
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