Affiliate Marketing

A Picture Paints A Thousand Lawsuits

The other week, when I wrote about creating images in Canva, I received the following comment,

The commenter makes some good points, BUT there are also things to be aware of in such an approach,

Fiverr

Fiverr and other freelancer sites provide a valuable service, and often at very good rates.

I use such sites when I want something very specific that I can’t do myself.

As an example, I wanted some images for my HERO PLR website. I engaged an artist in Fiverr and was very pleased with the results.

It is easy though to end up with something that is poor quality, does not meet your brief, or worst of all, is simply copied from somewhere else.

To get the best from freeçancers you need to be able to specify in detail what you want the image to be.

Make sure you have revisions included in the price.

Also be aware that if you get it wrong, it might cost you to get it corrected.

I recently saw a banner that had been created for a marketer, the marketer had given the creator the text to use, but had spelled Marketing without the ‘e’ and that is what is on the banner!

Also, remember that you get what you pay for.

Google

Google Images is an area where you have to be careful, if you get it wrong you could find yourself on the wrong end of a large legal bill.

Taking and using other people´s images without permission is unprofessional and could be illegal.

The most significant danger of sourcing images via a Google search is violating copyright laws.

Most images you find through a Google search are protected by copyright. This means they belong to someone – the photographer, the artist, or an organisation. Using these images without permission, especially for commercial purposes (like a monetised blog), can lead to legal issues, including lawsuits and hefty fines.

Here are a few misconceptions when it comes to image use:

Royalty-Free does not mean you do not have to pay for the image, it normally means, that if you pay a fee that allows you specific use of the image, you do not need to pay a royalty each time you use the image in accordance with your license.

Creative Commons is not a single license type, it has a collection of different types that dictate how you can use the image, including if you need to attribute the image, alter the image, only use it for noncommercial purposes etc.

Public Domain does not mean that if an image is on Google it is in the public domain. An image needs to meet certain conditions to be considered in the public domain.

Low-Risk Approach

For a low-risk approach to sourcing images, I use one of three strategies

1: I use my own photos,

This works well on my blog when it comes to talking about the ruin, as clearly there are no photos of the work that has just been completed untill I take them.

I do have an expensive camera and lenses, but honestly 99% of the time I just use my phone.

2: Image Sites

Websites such as Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash offer images you can use for free for commercial use and with no need to attribute the creator.

This is perfect for sourcing images without the ´’google risk’ of using images you have no right to use.

If you want a copy of my Image Sources fact sheet that lists my Top Ten sites to find images you can safely use on your website, click the image below

Image source fact sheet

3: AI generation

More and more I am turning to AL to generate my images, and though I tend to use MidJourney, I also use ChatGPT4 and Bing

I hope you found this useful, do please comment below and let me know what your image sourcing strategy is or tell me about your goto image creating site

Remember, when in doubt about an image’s copyright status, it’s safer not to use it.

30 thoughts on “A Picture Paints A Thousand Lawsuits

  • Hi Tony!
    This is such an important topic, and I feel that you wrote an engaging post about the consequences of using just any image found on the internet. Thank you for the detailed resource information, The Image Source Fact Sheet, that you included to help us better our decisions regarding image usage in our blogs!
    I enjoy reading your posts!
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti
    PS. I’m still going to learn Canva 🙂

    Reply
  • Hi Tony!
    This is such an important topic, and I feel that you wrote an engaging post about the consequences of using just any image found on the internet. Thank you for the detailed resource information, The Image Source Fact Sheet, that you included to help us better our decisions regarding image usage in our blogs!
    I enjoy reading your posts!
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti
    PS. I’m still going to learn Canva 🙂

    Reply
  • Tony,
    Thank you for all of this wonderful information! Also, thanks for the “Image source fact sheet”! Very helpful!
    Kelli

    Reply
  • Hi Tony Wow thank you so much for this awesome value, I am so new to all of this so I had not a clue. I have looked at fiverr but never used it. I do have a free account in Canva and use it very basically. I will be much more selective in the future. I have downloaded the sheet you supplied, again thanks so much, I really appreciate this post 😊

    Reply
  • Tony,

    Fiverr, is a great place to get things done for a reasonable price. The thing to remember is that the majority of the people on there are from other countries like Pakistan and the Philippines. This is not bad but one must be aware of the language barrier that comes from working with others who speak different languages.

    SJ and I have had great success getting images and logo done on Fiverr. As you said, make sure the finished product is what you intended it to be.

    As far as Google goes, In my I.T. career you see images on Google very much abused, I would recommend staying away from Google images for your blog. 99.9% of all images have copywrites.
    As you point out, it’s good way to get yourself in trouble.

    I you are looking for a place with safe free images go to Pixabay . Or as you suggested look at AI generated images. This where the header image on my blog came from.

    Thanks for providing some information on the best ways to source images.
    CJ

    Reply
  • Tony,
    That was an amazing insight into the world of images and copyrighting. I had no idea. Luckily, I have restricted the images I use to photos from my own phone. Canva seems like a valuable resource. I just need to find time to learn how to use it. Great post!
    Andy

    Reply
  • Tony, this is super-uber valuable info! I actually read your post last week and I believe I made mention that I was a Canva user as well. Personally, I LOVE Canva… I’ve been using it for years… only to learn more and more of its capabilities the more I played with it. I found it to be an incredibly valuable tool, but similar to what that previous poster said… “to each his own.” One way isn’t right or wrong, more of just a preference. I have also used Fiverr as well, when I need more help with something than what my skills will allow me to create. Both excellent… just a matter of preference. Thanks for sharing more about those other resources you mentioned. I’m less inclined to use Google but it’s nice to know that’s still an option out there!

    Reply
    • Hi Lauren, I am still struggling to use CANVA effectively, its like most tools, there is a learning curve. However it certainly does have a LOT of features that I want to understand better and use in my business.

      Reply
  • This is great information! There are so many places to obtain visual content, but your post helps to identify many that have been successful. In the end, to each their own, as they say. I will be investigating some of the resources you mentioned in this valuable post. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Hi Tony,
    Great post! I believe also, that we have to so careful when it comes to considering Google search for getting images. You’re so right that it can get bad fast with legal issues.
    I use Canva mostly now, but have used Fiver in the past with a different business.
    My experience with Fiver was good. I got a very professional person who created a logo, stationary letterhead and business card for about $150 when Others elsewhere were quoting me $2K.
    I appreciate you sharing the other sites you use, they will come in handy, thanks 🙂
    Denny

    Reply
    • Denny, thanks for this, and I think you post illustrates a good point, you paid $150 for your logo, letterhead and business card, now that is quite a bit more than $5 (it used to be, many years ago that everything on Fiverr WAS $5). You can find bargins, but generally you need to pay a professional rate to get a professions service.

      Reply
  • Hey Tony,

    That was an interesting article. My first thought though was that I am glad I am not the one who made that post that you responded to because it would have felt like a rebuke. lol! In any case, I think it’s important to remain ethical and legal in our businesses. And the images that someone creates need to be respected as their property unless otherwise indicated. I like your information and I will definitely check out your top 10 list. Did you create that for just this post or was that something you already had in your bag of tricks?

    Reply
    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for commenting. First I know what you mean about it looking like a rebuke, that was not my intention, more a warning to others that may use the Google approach. The think with written words is that it is difficult to inflect the tone of the response into the writing, people will give it their own spin. Some might read a piece as friendly advice, others a rebuke. As to the PDF info, I ad the information (I use folders in my browser tool bar to store website by category), but created the download to go with this blog.
      I want to provide useful resources whenever I can.

      Reply
  • Tony,
    Thanks a bunch for sharing all this useful info! I’m definitely grabbing that image fact sheet you mentioned. Usually, I rely on Google for images, but your post taught me a lot. Thinking about giving AI a shot for images too. Cheers!
    Sherri

    Reply
  • Tony, thank you for the valuable info. I have and still do use canva a little here and there, but like you, I mostly use pictures from my phone that I have taken myself. I will however check into the sites you mentioned for future reference. Thanks Again!

    Reply
  • Thanks Tony, I think there is a “place” for everyone. I have used Canva on occasion and I really like it. It give me pictures in specific sizes and I think the quality is better than some google images. I will personally carry on using and I’m hoping it will come in useful when creating digital products.
    I’ve never used fiver, I’ve not looked into it enough, but I will have a look this week.
    Thank you for the tips!

    Reply
  • Years ago, I was taught about Public Domain. I forget now the ins and outs, but old obscure books were often used directly or repurposed for content. At the time, I collected a few of these books, thinking I would use them, Never did. Somehow it seemed dishonest.

    Reply
  • Tony, incredibly valuable information from you. Creating banners and logos and images is a key part of not only blogging but also to being an affiliate marketer. You laid out very clearly the pros and cons and all the different ways that you can do it. Very key around copyright. Appreciate the effort you’ve gone to and learnt this to make it easier for all of us. Thank you until next time. Thanks, Atif

    Reply
  • Hi Tony,

    Your post is full of nuggets on how to use images online. Thank you.

    I am careful about Google images as I know they can be tracked and are mostly copyrighted.

    I’ve used Fiverr sparingly and not in a while…
    As you know so much about images would you sell your services there?

    I like to use photos that I’ve taken, they are mostly of nature walks and trails, mountains, and ocean landscapes, though I haven’t used any images yet in my new blog. Still, I would like to add at least one image per post.

    What do you do to protect your images? Do you watermark them?

    Reply
    • Hi Eleanor, I dont do anything to protect my images on my blog, I do sell some images, but I do that via a site called Dreamstimes, so they protect them for me.

      Yes do put at lease one image in your blog, and make it the featured image

      Reply
  • Tony Great post, direct and to the point also loaded with Great information and value. I have your site bookmarked!

    Reply
    • Thanks Ken, I do try to provide useful content, so its good to know it is appreciated

      Reply
  • Tony – I love this post. You bring attention to something very important that clearly there is not enough awareness about in terms of copyright and use of images found online. Thanks!

    AK

    Reply
  • Tony, appreciate you breaking down the options available to someone looking for images. Having done the Fiverr at considerable cost in creating images over the years I have come to realize the importance of doing your homework. Then there is the stock photos and the legalities of using those assets.
    Another issue is how these photos can affect Google algorithm in local search.

    Reply
  • Tony, thank you for sharing your method of generating images. I love Fiverr, and I use it often!!!! Upwork and Fiverr are incredible sources to leverage other people’s skills to save time, and it is usually very affordable! Thank you for sharing your method; it is really helpful!

    Reply
  • What an appropriate name for this post! I constantly get spammy emails regarding my Facebook page images. I’ve even posted notes on that page telling readers that I do in fact have the rights to use certain images.

    A new image that I use on my latest blog is one of a penguin in shades. I got one of my YouTubers out of Las Vegas to create that image for me and he takes donations with no set price. He mentions his drawings in this stream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgGccLaa-_o

    But it’s best to contact him by email which is in the description for the stream.

    Reply
  • Hi Tony,

    Just took your fact sheet. You do such a great job with this…

    thanks Sandy…

    Reply
    • You are welcome

      Reply
  • Hi Tony,

    Thank you for your blog post. I have definitely learn something new today.

    I always thought Royalty Free means you can use it however you want for free. So this is really new to me. To think I have been doing Internet Marketing for more than a decade and yet I am not aware of this!

    Anyway, I have read articles about how AI images may not necessary be copyright free. After all, AI images are generated from existing images on the web. So it is quite ambiguous.

    Reply
    • Oh right, AI is all fairly new, so I guess I best get educated about the rights related to AI generated images as well, thanks for the steer!

      Reply

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