If you are trying to drive traffic to your site, the right photos can make all the difference. Studies have shown that photos on Facebook generate 53 percent more likes than text posts, and more than twice as many comments.
In the absence of original photos, stock photos can be a great way to provide visuals for your legal blog. But how do you know which photos are legal to use? More importantly, how do you make the right choice for your blog?
Professional stock photo websites like Shutterstock, iStock, and Corbis can offer a wide selection of high quality stock photos, including pictures of celebrities, public officials, and brand names.
Unfortunately, these websites can be costly and very restrictive about how their images can be distributed. Monthly subscriptions for individual users can start at more than $200. Small business plans allow more users, but can cost more than $500 a month.
The licensing agreements for stock photo websites can be confusing, regulating how many computers an image can be stored on, how many users can have access, and how many websites are allowed to display it.
Can I Use Free Stock Photos for a Legal Blog?
Most free stock photos require attribution in exchange for use. The ideal attribution includes the photo’s title, author, original source, and the license it is operating under. Ideally, all credits would be hyperlinked to the corresponding page.
If you are planning to use free stock images, the correct license is crucial. A photo’s license addresses four main issues:
Attribution – how the author is credited.
Derivatives – any original works created by altering or repurposing the stock images.
Commercial use – if the work or any derivative works can be redistributed for commercial gain.
Share alike – permits use so ling as any derivative work is redistributed under the same license.
Attribution only licenses mean that an image is free to be used and distributed in any form, including for commercial use, as long as the author is credited.
Attribution-share alike licenses allow images to be used and altered as long as those works are made available under identical terms. Users are not allowed to use the photo for free and charge for derivations.
Some licenses forbid derivation or commercial use. Make sure any photos you use are operating under the correct license for your site.
At Attorneys Online Inc., we work hard to direct potential clients to your page and take the guesswork out of blog maintenance. Contact us today to discuss your firm’s needs.
Attorneys Online, Inc. – Legal Marketing Specialists