So, use of images on websites...

by Ejsuhh
13 replies
  • WEB DESIGN
  • |
I've just started my first niche site regarding video games and board games.

I want, no need, to have lots of images and pictures on my site to prevent my reviews from being just blocks of content. Therein lies my problem...

Like I said before, I am just recently starting my site and have zero experience of web building prior to this. So here's my question: Where can I find the images and pictures that I need for my site? I know of a number of free stock image hosting websites, but they all contain pictures that are not relevant to my niche site.

I want to say that plucking off an image off of google is too good to be true, correct? Are all web hosters uploading their own images that they use on their sites?

Thanks for any and all input.
#images #websites
  • Profile picture of the author eKing
    Using images which aren't yours and that you don't have permission to use violates copyright so you can't do that. You need to find images that you have permission to use. There are a couple of ways in which you can find images.

    When searching for images on Google, you can actually filter the results of the images to only display images that are available for commercial use. This may be beneficial to you and you can usually find images for almost any topic doing it this way.

    You can also check out this site: CC Search which can help you find suitable images for your site which are free to use. Make sure to check the license on some of the images. Some permit you to use them but only for non-commercial use.

    Other than that, you can either purchase stock photo's or ask the author of the image for permission.
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  • Profile picture of the author art72
    You can find sites like Pixabay.com which allow you commercial use with no attribution (or credit to the owner) - but even then, if a pixabay user uploads an image that they did not have permission to use, you could still be considered in violation of copyright...so, images are a bit tricky, no doubt.

    Personally, I use a lot of pixabay images (with my fingers crossed) and images from public domain sites - like .gov websites, morgue files, wikipedia, etc... but again, I still have no clue if using these commercially is legit, as most sites state they are not responsible for the accuracy or use of the images... so who the f..k knows?

    The alternate is to pay $1-$3 per image, which I rarely choose to do. Maybe when the big money's flowing in, that'll be an expense easily absorbed in my profit margins.

    Good luck.

    (But, I would caution using random Google images... I've read some hefty copyright lawsuits happening from that practice.)

    PS - I have noticed some popular blogs which use images, and then at the end of post include an attribution link something like this:

    Image Courtesy of: 'photographers name"
    w/ link to original website/source
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  • Profile picture of the author MadHu5tle
    Make sure to find images that either a) explicitly state you can use them, such as the case with purchased stock images, b) state you can use them with attribution (and do attribute the creator), or c) falls under fair use. You say it's games reviews, so official games images would be fair use for a review of that game. If you're writing a review or something about call of duty, it's fair use to use their images. But if you're not using official images, it wouldn't fall under fair use, for instance you wouldn't be able to use images created by another reviewer, unless you're explicitly writing about that other reviewer.
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    • Profile picture of the author Ejsuhh
      Originally Posted by MadHu5tle View Post

      Make sure to find images that either a) explicitly state you can use them, such as the case with purchased stock images, b) state you can use them with attribution (and do attribute the creator), or c) falls under fair use. You say it's games reviews, so official games images would be fair use for a review of that game. If you're writing a review or something about call of duty, it's fair use to use their images. But if you're not using official images, it wouldn't fall under fair use, for instance you wouldn't be able to use images created by another reviewer, unless you're explicitly writing about that other reviewer.
      What exactly do you mean by "it's fair use to use their images"?

      If I took a screenshot of, lets say, the call of duty box art and case and used it in my website, I'm guessing this would be illegal?
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  • You're right be be concerned. Getty images that own iStock photo are notoriously aggressive in pursuing copyright theft of images from their library. Fines can easily run into thousands. This is one of the single biggest risks of getting stuff designed on Fiverr, as you can't easily check if the images are properly licensed unless your buy them yourself.

    One option worth considering would be making your own images. There are some pretty big seo benefits for doing this. I wrote the following article about it recently:

    https://www.3d-box-shot.com/seo-with-images.html

    With a game site you could make screenshot images of a game running on a device.
    Signature
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    Easy to use 3D Software for making Marketing Images.
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  • Profile picture of the author FreeMeal
    if it's video games, you can do things like screenshots.

    You will find, a lot of game developers are happy for you to use their images. I started a games website a few years ago. It was a dedicated fan site to a particular game. I wasn't sure about using their images on my site, so I reached out to the developers on twitter and told them what I was doing and they were only to happy to let me use their stuff. They said I could use anything on their website, and even put together a fan site starter kit off the back of it to help others.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ejsuhh
    Hmm, I'm getting mixed signals on whether or not I will be running a risk if I take screenshots of the games I will be reviewing...

    To be more specific, I will be taking screenshots of the game's cover art, cases, etc to include into my reviews so that they aren't just blocks of text.

    Anyone else have any thoughts?
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    • Profile picture of the author MadHu5tle
      Originally Posted by Ejsuhh View Post

      Hmm, I'm getting mixed signals on whether or not I will be running a risk if I take screenshots of the games I will be reviewing...

      To be more specific, I will be taking screenshots of the game's cover art, cases, etc to include into my reviews so that they aren't just blocks of text.

      Anyone else have any thoughts?
      If you're taking screenshots of the games themselves, like as you play them, those or original images. Those are your images, you are free to use them. If you're using original game art (like, from the games official website) it should fall under fair use as long as you're using them to review the game, talk about the game, or criticize the game in question.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ejsuhh
        Originally Posted by MadHu5tle View Post

        If you're taking screenshots of the games themselves, like as you play them, those or original images. Those are your images, you are free to use them. If you're using original game art (like, from the games official website) it should fall under fair use as long as you're using them to review the game, talk about the game, or criticize the game in question.
        I see. I'm assuming including an affiliate link in my website will also be legal as well? If not, how else are the tens and thousands of product review websites still in business, correct? They must all be using pictures of the products they are reviewing online as well right?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Gordon
    If you are reviewing video games, then using official images from those video games should fall under fair use.

    I would do some research on the Fair Use Doctrine to get a better understanding of the limits.

    But, generally speaking, if this is what you are contemplating, you are in a safe zone.
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    • Profile picture of the author peteJ
      14 Amazingly Free Stock Photo Websites

      The above link is an article that has a list of a bunch of sites that have free to use stock photos, most of which require no attribution. I've used a couple sites on the list to great results.
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      Full Service Web Development and Small Business Marketing - Total Web Connections

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    • Profile picture of the author Ejsuhh
      Originally Posted by Jack Gordon View Post

      If you are reviewing video games, then using official images from those video games should fall under fair use.

      I would do some research on the Fair Use Doctrine to get a better understanding of the limits.

      But, generally speaking, if this is what you are contemplating, you are in a safe zone.
      Following up on what was mentioned here and in other posts, what is the determining factor on whether or not an image is an official image from the company? What exactly falls under the umbrella of an official image?
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  • Profile picture of the author Designlove
    Stock Photos & Stock Images from $1 | PhotoDune - gives you professional images for super cheap $1 to $3 bucks
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