Q&A: Can I use Images I Find on Google on my blog?

This is a question from Reddit, with my response:

Question

From /u/t5pg2017:

¬†What’s the deal with photos that are labeled for reuse? Is there ever a time that one is “allowed” to use any old photo from Google images (on social media, in a blog post, et cetera)? What about for personal sharing? So long as you don’t try to take credit for it, of course. I always use photos in the public domain for fear of breaking any laws, but am curious as to how it works so I can be positive I am never doing it incorrectly. Thanks!

Response

I’m not sure what you mean “labeled for reuse?” Different types of licensing? Generally, you can’t use a photo unless you have permission from the copyright owner. If you are using a copy of the photo for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, or research, it could be “fair use” and permitted. So if you are not doing any of those things with the photos, it sounds like you are doing it correctly.

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Leland Faux
Attorney Leland Faux blogs about trademark, copyright, and online business issues at Law of the Brand. You can submit a question by email to thelawofthebrand@gmail.com.

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