Free Pictures (So You Don’t Get Sued)!

Cornfield_in_East_Central_Indiana

Since reading Roni Loren’s unfortunate brush with the law over a picture she lifted from someone’s site without permission, I’ve become much more careful about the pictures I include in my blog.

Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic. A significant chunk of money that I couldn’t afford. I’m not going to go into the details but know that it was a lot of stress, lawyers had to get involved, and I had to pay money that I didn’t have for a use of a photo I didn’t need.

Yeah.

I don’t have money for lawyers. I don’t have a lot of extra money for stock photos either.

Truly *free* images on the Web aren’t the easiest to come by.

As far as free pictures goes, I’m a regular at Dreamstime. If you sign up for an account, you’ll have access to their selection of free images. They’re not great, but they’re better than nothing, and they’re way better than getting sued.

Last week, however, I found an exciting new resource for free pics. I’m sure it’s not new to many folks out there, I myself just hadn’t run across it. It’s call Wikimedia Commons. It’s huge repository of photos. And they’re FREE.

To demonstrate, I’ve posted a picture of my home state above, sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

What have I missed?

I’m sure there are other free picture sites out there. There must be. I HOPE there is.

If you know of any good sites, do share! (Save a starving writer from financial ruin!)