The use of images (or video) is now standard practice in creating a blog post. You would be hard pressed to find a blog post without at least a single image. Some of those times you might not have a picture you created yourself (or by someone in your team/company). When this happens, it is the internet to the rescue with billions upon billions of images. Type a string of adjectives and nouns and chances are you would be presented with more images than you have time for to peruse. Even before you click right to save or hit download to save a picture, it is important to be familiar with the different types of uses for images. We would be describing the three basic types. Take note that our explanation is by no means comprehensive or exhaustive. We are also not lawyers or any person who gives legal advice.

Okay, you are still here after all that disclaimers. So let’s proceed. In a nutshell, the use of images falls into three broad categories – public domain, royalty free and right managed. Between these three broad categories, only one is free meaning cost free and the other two involves some monetary exchange. No, royalty free is not cost free but more on that later.

Images in public domain simply put are not subject to copyright. This means nobody owns the images and anyone in public (meaning you and me) can use it even for commercial purposes. It is important to keep in mind that not just because an image is online and it came up when a search is made it does not mean that it is public domain.

Royalty free images are images you have paid to use, and you can use it up to its set limitations without having to pay a royalty. This is why it is called royalty free. Keep in mind that royalty free doesn’t mean cost free. It just means you can use it more than once without having to pay royalties again. Popular stock agencies usually have this type. We highly suggest checking the royalty free rules of the stock agency before committing to purchase since each one can vary and may have different tiers.

Rounding up the list is rights managed. As the name implies, with rights managed the conditions to which one could use the image depends on the use for it was purchased. Whether the image could be used for a blog post, a website homepage, a magazine article, etc. would need to be specified.

Whether you use an image that is in the public domain, royalty free or rights managed to keep in mind that you only have the right to use the image. You do not own the image itself. This is important to keep in mind when using images that would be part of your branded assets such as your company logo.

Use of Images

Images in Public Domain are Copyright-Free

Royalty-free Images are Paid But Can Be Used Without Limits

Rights-Managed Images are Subject to Conditions

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