Open Stock Media

Open Stock Media

There are approximately 1,143,358 lawyers in the United States. And that means one out of every 265 people you meet may want to sue you for fun and profit. If you want to avoid this unnecessary expense, I recommend you consider carefully the next time you use Google image search to find just the right photo for you latest blog post.

Most of the media files on Google are point of fact, not free-licensed public domain content available to everyone, to use as they see fit. I know this seems a bit unfair as Google gets to link to those images, but they are a search engine and while they derive profit from advertising they are not technically using this material in a way that could be misconstrued as it being their property.

This means that while Google may be a very convenient source for graphic ideas it is a very bad form to use them as a source for them.

In other words, you should never blindly load an image, illustration or video that you “found” on the web.

If you do, sooner or later you will receive a rather unpleasant 19 page letter in the mail from someone who’s last name ends in numbers or an esquire insisting that you

  1. Remove said images
  2. Pay some exorbitant fees and
  3. Not do it again.

Usually, they will be satisfied with two out of three, but if it looks like your company has deep pockets you may find yourself in court. And that’s no fun.

So what can you do? Well you can of course use your own photos and illustrations and if you really want to make a difference post some them as open source to some of the online libraries I reference below. Remember we are all richer thanks to the contributions of others.

Well, there are a number of sources of freely available public domain open stock media. Wikipedia has a terrific searchable database of images http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Clker is also a good source for pubic domain clip art and images, http://www.clker.com/

So is, http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/

Since this is a wide ranging topic, I will be adding to this subject as my busy schedule permits. However, if you have a suggestion please don’t hesitate to email

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>