Does any one really get in trouble for using pictures from google on there site?

  • ianizaguirre


    Does any one really get in trouble for using pictures from Google on there site?

    Does any one really get caught it seems like just a scare tactic. Is it really a bid deal?

    What do you think ?


    Yes, but it depends on who report your stuff to whom. One of my clients got a huge warning directly from the Government of Canada for using an image of a Canadian flag, not because she used a Canadian flag, but because she used an image of the flag copyrighted to Government of Canada. They told her to take it down and replace with a general free flag image. Some files have unique data embedded into the properties which can get you into brig trouble.

    There are many many royalty free image websites out there. Do a Google search on that and then use the site search on them to get it. If you come across an image even if it NOT on a government website, but the other guy have stole it from somewhere, BOTH of you can get into trouble.

    They could,

    -block your site from accessing

    -take you to court and pose a patiently (I think in Canada up to $10,000)

    -take down your URL directly from ICANN

    However, if you reference the image original URL and still it is not under their fair use agreements, you will just get a warning. So, if you are using an image at least reference it at the footer or something.

    If you steal an image from a personal website, the site owner can contact you on that. If the site owner is an artist or a company, they will probably take you to court since laws have been passed in both Canada (where I am) and US on copyrights recently. Oh and… it is easy to find royalty free images these days.


    Here is a free image site:



    Thank you for your answer. I use a paid plugin “squirrely ” that comes with a little side box to find images related to your article quickly. I enjoy it because its convenient, but I find it impossible to see how to find how to give credit to whoever created it.?


    Kenneth John Odle


    Aside from the legal issues, there is an ethical issue here, as well. If you download an image from somebody’s website and upload it to your own, you are stealing their image. If you merely hotlink to it, you are stealing their bandwidth. Either way, you are taking something that does not belong to you. Even if you never get caught, or sued, or warned, you are still doing something that is wrong.

    Please remember, those pictures are “from” Google. It’s easy to delude yourself into thinking that Google is some big huge corporation (which it is) which is putting its content up there (it’s not), and it won’t hurt anything for little old you to take something from a big nameless corporation. In fact, Google is only indexing other people’s content, including yours. So you are not taking from Google, but taking from somebody else who could in fact be in a situation like yours.

    Using other people’s images is just wrong, full stop.

    There are plenty of sites out there that let you use images in limited (or in some cases, unlimited ways). Mediawiki Commons is one. Morgue File is another. You can Google either of those, as well as Googling for images licensed under a GNU license or Creative Commons license. Or best of all, you can pick up a decent digital camera for $50 (I’ve seen ones that are good enough for web design go on clearance for US$25) and take some of your own. (At which you will start asking “how do I disable right-click so people don’t steal my pictures?”)

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