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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Royalty - Free Images

In the world of Internet licensing, one of the most convenient terms is "royalty-free." This term applies to many different kinds of intellectual property, but it is most commonly associated with photographs. Anyone who is developing a website or doing a project where images are needed would benefit from the use of these types of images. But it is important to understand the details about the pictures, who would use them, where they can be used and how to find them before you start planning your next project.

A royalty-free image is a picture that anyone can use without having to pay a fee to the photographer. While that can sound like a straight-forward arrangement, there are several details that you need to be aware of to avoid copyright infringement.

It is best to get this type of image from a website where you have an account and have general permission to use the images on the site. Pulling images off of an Internet search engine is dangerous because you have no idea if those images are royalty-free or who owns them.

Before you use a royalty-free image you should read the licensing terms closely. While the image is yours to use without paying for it, the conditions usually dictate that it can only be used once. The photographer may also have other conditions in the terms that prevent you from being able to alter the image or crop it in any way. There may also be restrictions on the kind of media the image can be used on. For example, some photographers allow images to be used in digital and print mediums, while other photographers may only allow their images to appear in digital format and not in print.

You will also have to give proper credit to the photographer when you use the image. Once again, the terms of the licensing agreement will outline exactly how you are to give credit to the photographer and where that credit should appear.

College students creating school projects benefit from royalty-free images. People who run blogs or have their own websites can use these images to generate more traffic. Corporations can use royalty-free images to emphasize or enhance the text found on their website.

There are several very popular websites that host royalty-free images that you can use to get the pictures you need. You will need to establish an account to use royalty-free images, but that information is usually used to track photograph usage and not to send you email offers to buy cameras.

These pictures are convenient for people who do not have the time to go out and take their own pictures or the resources to buy the rights for every picture they want to use. Before you use a royalty-free image, be sure that you understand the rules of usage to avoid getting yourself in trouble.

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