Web Design: Using Images Online In A Copyright-Crazy Society

In a country that is obsessed with copyrights it is importnat not to violate the law when choosing images for your web presence.

Images are one of the most important factors to consider when designing a web site. They give a site the look and feel you desire and can make all the difference when attracting visitors to your page. Images are also used on-line for a variety of other purposes from e-zines and newsletters to avatars for forums and message boards. So how can you safely choose quality images to use on-line in a society that is so focused on copyrights? There are many ways to make sure that the pictures you use on-line will not violate any copyright laws.

One of the best choices for web images is to use photos you take yourself. Using your own photos can create the look and feel you desire while enhancing your on-line presence with your own originality and flare. With today's digital camera technology, it is easy to create and store your own photos to use on-line. If you choose to do so, you can obtain a copyright from your attorney to protect your own photos.

You can also find many free imaged on-line. There are thousands of websites that offer images free of charge to anyone on the web. Although free images are abundant, you need to be cautious. There is no way to determine of these images are indeed copyright free or if they have been stolen from another source. Free images also tend to be overused. Don't be surprised if you see the image you choose used multiple times across the Internet. On reputable websites that offer free images, there may also be non-commercial use restrictions. This is important to keep in mind if you are building a business related website and plan to use free images.

If you are unable to create your own images for web-based use or find free images that fit your needs, then you can find thousands of images on-line that are available for purchase. There are many websites that offer stock photos, clipart, illustrations, fonts, animations and flash components. There are generally three categories of images that you can find on-line.

Royalty free images are available for sale. The prices of these images vary and they may be used, as many times as you'd like, in as many ways as you'd like without further payment. Different photo agencies have different rules as to how images can be used to when you purchase a royalty free image, be sure to read the terms of service from the company you purchase them from.

Flat rate images come at a flat rate price. They come in one file size and offer unlimited use for the purchaser. Flat Rate images are more economical than royalty free images but still offer the same flexibility of use. Unlike royalty free images, when flat rate images are purchased, you must designate exactly who will be using the image, and ONLY THEY can use it, as much as they'd like, in as many ways as they'd like. There may be one designated end-user, and one only.

The third major type of image you can acquire on-line is a rights managed image. With this type of image the price is determined by how widely the image will be used. The use of the image is agreed to in advance of purchase and the image may not be used for any other purpose other than that which was specified in the purchase agreement. With these types of images you can choose to pay for rights protection as well, giving you protection from direct competitors using the same image you choose.

Depending on the desired use for your on-line images there are a wide variety of choices to find exactly what you want to fit your needs. Whether you choose to upload your own images, search the web for free pictures or purchase images to fit your needs there are a wide variety of choices available to you. By taking the time to seek out the best images for your on-line use you can avoid violating copyright laws and create the on-line presence you desire.

© High Speed Ventures 2011