As citizens of the internet, something that we should be asking ourselves is—is this okay for me to use? Fortunately, with many of the stock image sites available, they offer rules and guidelines surrounding the usage of the image. Unfortunately…it’s long and wordy.


Below is a quick and dirty guide to using stock images from three popular image sources.


Images can be used freely, without attribution to the creator. Some acceptable uses of the images are decorative use, personal use, and in digital formats. The images can also be used in commercial packaging however, the images must not be used in products for resale. This specifically means that the image itself cannot be the product. Examples of this would be cards, stationary, calendars etc. Although, no credit is due, this rule does change when it comes to editorial usage.




Images provided through this source are released under public domain.

“You can copy, modify, distribute and use the images, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission and without paying attribution. However, depicted content may still be protected by trademarks, publicity or privacy rights.” via Pixabay

Ultimately, the pictures provided from this site are free to use, but use at your own risk.


They have a variety of different types of licensing, depending on the intended use of the images. For free images, they can be used in commercial or advertisement purposes for magazines or newspapers, as a design element, on promotional materials, in connection with your business or entity or as decor.

Although the way the images can be used appears quite flexible, there are certain instances where they specifically cannot be used or have specific instructions to accompany them. One of those specific instructions would be in powerpoint:

“in a PowerPoint presentation provided that a reasonably prominent statement is included on the same page as the Content as follows: “Certain images and/or photos on this page are the copyrighted property of 123RF Limited, its Contributors or Licensed Partners and are being used with permission under license. These images and/or photos may not be copied or downloaded without permission from 123RF Limited.”” via

As mentioned earlier, images are allowed to be used in connection to your business or entity, but to a degree. Businesses are not allowed to use the images from as a logo or a trademark, or as part of an item, or template to be resold. This is specific to the Free Images license, but there are others that will provide different privileges.

What are other stock image providers do you use? Do you know their terms and licenses?


Posted by:curiousthekat

I've never truly been that typical. I also don't trust people who don't eat garlic

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