Blog: Can I Use Images From Google Search?
It is important to understand that “Google Images” is not a Google-owned image set, but a search engine that searches for pictures on the whole web. In the end, copyrights in those pictures are held by the person making the image, but the owner of the copyright may offer permission to use the image in different ways by someone else. This authorization can authorize anyone to publish the image in a book, magazine, newspaper or website, or to permit some other use of the image.
You have two key choices if you want to use an image you find on Google Pictures.
Fair use is a legal doctrine of the United States that provides for the restricted use of copyrighted content without permission from the owner of the rights. It is similar to the equal treatment doctrines used in some non-US nations. Fair usage examples include tweets, search engines, criticism, satire, news stories, analysis, and scholarships. Fair use allows for the free use of copyrighted materials in works of others, but since it is a legal concept, it can also be debated in law.
Learn About: Add me to search on Google
The purpose of fair use is to align copyright holders’ rights with the public interest in broader dissemination and use of artistic content, by allowing for such restricted applications that would otherwise be considered infringement.
Check for “free-to-use” photos
When you browse for Google, you can narrow down the results to find photos you can use. To do this, you may use the search tools > Usage rights filter on the search results tab, or use the Advanced Image Search Usage Rights filter.
How rights to use works?
Utilization rights allow you to find the content you can use above and above fair use. Site owners will use licenses to tell you whether and how content can be reused on their pages. The Advanced Search Access Rights Filter shows you content that is either a Creative Commons or a similar license or is publicly accessible. The use rights filter also displays images with the GNU Free Documentation license for images.
Types of rights to use
Free to use or share: Enables you to copy or redistribute your material unchanged.
Free to use, share, or change: allows you to copy, change, or redistribute in the manner specified in the license.
Commercial: If you want content for commercial purposes, please select a “commercially.” option.
Important: License search
Google cannot say if the licensed mark is lawful because Google does not know whether the contents are licensed legally. Until reuse of content, make sure that the license is valid and verify the exact conditions of reuse with the publishing website. For instance, the license can require the creator to be credited for using the image.
Report incorrect rights of use
If you find material that contains the wrong use of rights in the search results after testing, please let us know in the Google Search Support Forum.
Do I still need authorisation to use a Google Image Search image?
Yes, in order to use it, you need permission. The photos used in Google Search are not owned by Google. The search tool “Usage rights” is given to help you find photos appropriate for your use. It is not a license to use the images.
In order to use the image, you must contact the owner (typically who posted the image first on the web) and obtain his/her permission, particularly if you wish to use the image publicly or commercially. The use of an image without the copyright owner’s written permission can be very costly!
Can Google tell me who is the owner of the copyright?
No, Google cannot exchange user details because this will infringe our user privacy agreements. We recommend that you search for a way to contact the webmaster of the website.
You are not allowed to import or use Google images without a copyright holder’s permission unless the use falls under one exception or the work is licensed freely, like Creative Commons. Google is essentially a search engine searching the Internet and supplying the search engine with any relevant results – copyright holders can not submit their photos for free to Google.
Clicking on the picture typically takes you to the source site, where the copyright holder can be contacted for permission. Google Image also includes a method for filtering the search results by rights of access.
Blog: Can I Use Images From Google Search?