Have you ever been confused about whether or not you can use a photo you find on the Internet? The Visual Communication Guy has made a handy flow chart infographic to help you out.
I created the guide below to help sift through the complexity of it all. The reality is, though, as long as you become familiar with four terms–copyright, fair use, creative commons, and public domain–you’ll have a pretty good idea what you can and can’t do with images. If it’s all new to you, spend most of your time learning the fair use clauses. That’s where the ambiguity in copyright laws exist. As with most laws, the ambiguity is for our benefit, but it sure can make copyright laws fuzzy at times.
My rule above all else? Ask permission to use all images. If in doubt, don’t use the image!