"The Pitfalls of a Seemingly Innocuous Photo"

Some of the images featured on freeimages may contain protected designs, logos or artworks. While we try to keep our images generic some of them may have additional restrictions on their use that we were unable to foresee. But it's not just the images on this site you need to worry about, before use any image think about what is featured in the image.

The following are examples of designs and items that many people do not know are protected by their designer, and hence photos of them cannot be used in many applications:

  • The London Eye
  • Eiffel Tower Lights (the tower itself in the day is not a protected design)
  • Pompidou Centre
  • Sydney Opera House
  • London Underground Roundel (the red/blue logo)
  • Love Hearts (sweets/candies)
  • Most works art and sculpture, Including public sculptures.
  • The Empire State building
  • All pictures taken on the RER (Paris Metro)

- And there are literally hundreds more like these!

Many people are aware that corporate logos and graphics are protected (some very strictly enforced!) but it should also be noted that most product designs are protected, as are many modern buildings by their architects.

Images containing products/designs etc can generally be featured in editorial context without problem, but it is generally not acceptable to use them in advertising media (including on the front of a book, magazine etc).

Generally speaking if a protected item is not the subject or an integral part of the subject theme then using the image may be okay i.e. a picture of the New York skyline is not protected, but an image of the empire state building is protected. If there is any doubt then the item/building designer/owner should be contacted before using an image if the item is 'recognisable' in that image.

> Related FreeImages Article: Images and the LAW

 

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