Can I use Images from Google in my personal projects

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Google Images Search can be used to find any type of images. However, the most basic and important question is – can I use photos found on Google Images Search in my projects without any problem? There is no definite answer to this as it depends on which specific image you want to use. Every image has different copyrights and usage terms, based on that you may or may not use that image in your project.

Search only “free to use” images on Google

If are searching for photos that can be used in personal project, school projects, background photo in a Youtube video, printed on local handbill – it is recommended to filter search results to display only “free to use” licensed photos.

1. Open images.google.com website and then type any keyword (like bird) for images search. On the top right part of images search result page, click Gear button and then click Advanced Search option.

Google image Advanced Search option

2. On the Advanced Image Search page, scroll down to Usage Rights section at the bottom. Click the drop down box and select license and usage type of images that should appear in search results.

Google Image usage rights license

3. Depending on your requirements, you may select: free to use or share, free to use or share even commercially, free to use share or modify and so on.

Should I contact image owner before use

If you can easily find owner details of the image you intend to use, then making a direct contact with the owner is a good idea. You can send courtesy email asking for permission to use specific  image in project or webpage. Majority owners do not mind image use and instead like being asked for permission for image use. If you intend to use image in a commercial project, paying small fee to image owner is also a good idea.

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