There are so many images online, and so many more being created every day. Some are free, some are royalty free, some have licenses that you have to purchase in order to use the image, and some you just cannot even legally touch.
Are you using images that you have permission to use?
For those who have been in the blogging community for more than a decade, especially the “personal blog” niche, during 2004 through 2007, there were a lot of websites that used celebrity images. Some of these images were “blended” or pics spliced and mixed together in a way that made the image attractive. This was great practice for newbie graphic designers who played with Photoshop or other graphic editors to make their images look great.
Unfortunately, licensing on pictures of celebrities, including actors, musicians, and editors required graphic artists to personally contact the original photographer for permission. Even some artwork, like paintings, and other types of photography were required that the user either ask for permission to use and sometimes even require credit back to the original source/ artist.
Of course, a lot of webmasters were not found of this, but did remove what creative works did not comply.
However, since those years, stock photos, free images, and other types of licensed works have come into play.
For a dollar or more, website owners can use a cool vector image created by another, or perhaps a stock photo of some place relevant to what they are writing about. However, for every person who pays to legally use images that require licensing, there are many more who just take and use on whim.
While the main party to blame is the actual person illegally using an image that requires licensing, Google has also been fairly responsible for this. Think about it.
Go to Google. Click on the images tab. Do a search on an image. When Google displays the results, slowly hover over the first 4 rows and see how many links to stock photo sites come up. It should be a few, especially if you do a search on vector images (any type)…
However, next time you search for an image you need for your website or even graphics… think about it… do you have permission to use it???