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Free images for commercial use without link or attribution

Updated on December 18, 2010

Illegal use of photos

Using images obtained from Google image search can be really dangerous. Fines for illegal use of images and photos can easily be as high as 10.000 US$ (wow!). Most image databases on the web offer "licence-free" images, which in most cases is actually only a keyword to attract visitors from Google. In general, all major image collections promoting free stock photos do at least require to link back to the source and/or to mention the original author, in accordance with Creative Commons Licence CC-By.

However, in many cases we as web-developers or authors are technically not able to include the source in the obliged manner. Inside of text paragraphs, it is difficult to place a subtitle below an image, or e.g. preview images - also used on Squidoo - in some cases violate the CC-By licence.

Where do we find really free images on the web? and - Simply free

What we need, are royalty-free photos and cliparts without the requirement of attributing the original author and without the necessity of backlinks. On these terms, I'll present you my favorite two websites, one for cliparts - - and one for photos - is a new plattform, specifically offering lots of quality photos, all of which under the new Creative Commons Licence CC0, which enables the usage of these pics for virtually arbitrary application (also commercial use), without attributing the original author or linking back to the source. Great, heh!? offers a huge collection of free, high-quality and resizable cliparts. For any imaginable topic one finds loads of suitable comics, icons, etc. Clker does not offer photos, but cliparts are just as valuable, both for web-designers and for Lensemasters.

What about do You?

See results

Duel! What's your opinion?

Attribution/backlink or not: That is the question!

Attributing the original author of a photo makes totally sense! It's important, because ...

Attributing the original author of a photo makes totally sense! It's important, because ...

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    • evannecarter 5 years ago

      It helps the authors- knowing that their work is reaching a wider audience.

      Thanks for the link..

    Yeiks, enforced backlinks/attribution sucks. I enjoy doing so if it's voluntarily, but ...

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      • anonymous 6 years ago

        i like free pictures without any annoying license


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        • BusinessSarah profile image

          BusinessSarah 5 years ago

          I've been using MorgueFile, but I'm definitely going to check out pixabay now to supplement my pool of images! Thanks for the tip!

        • chefkeem profile image

          Achim Thiemermann 6 years ago from Austin, Texas

          If I don't have suitable pictures of my own available, I always use pixabay as my source for brilliant-quality images and complete hassle-free download. Highly recommended!