Internet's major attraction, apart from information shared among authors,
scientists, government agencies, and businesses, is its rich offerings
in terms of sounds and graphics. Although looking at the original (or even
a copy) of the "Mona Lisa" or a Matthew Brady daguerreotype once necessitated
a trip to a museum, bookstore, or library, the Web has made it possible
to conveniently start with almost any search engine, type in a few keywords,
and pull a facsimile out of the haystack of over a billion Web pages.
The most basic
graphics include icons, buttons, wallpapers, and backgrounds. Surfers and
Webmasters find these items and download them to enhance Web pages, reports,
desktops, and presentations. As we move along the continuum, we discover
a broad and ubiquitous range of spectacular drawings and photographs. For
example, that strikingly crisp image of the "four-toed litter skink" is
captured by the grade school students to serve as an illustration in a
paper on rainforests. Or that image of Bill Clinton from his Grand Jury
testimony might make its way into a professor's multimedia, law and ethics
presentation in a freshman philosophy seminar. The range of Web images
encompasses everything from animations of spinning compact discs to scans
of the infamous, "crowd control gone bad" photo taken at Kent State University
on May 4, 1970, to an .avi (video) of the frequently discussed Zapruder
film of JFK in Dallas to one of Monet's Rouen cathedrals. It's all there
for study, research, or enjoyment. Many images may be used for commercial
as well as personal purposes; many are free, but many are not. Depending
on individual needs, finding images on the Web can save considerable time
and, in some cases, a significant amount of money.
Image Search Engines — The
found image files by combining a keyword with a file type. For example,
a search using the general search engine Overture (formerly called GoTo.com)
for "polar bear and .jpg" would probably yield links to sites where an
image of a bear resides in the .jpg (Joint Photographic Experts
Group) format. A query on Northern Light for "dolphins and image" will
retrieve thousands of hits, many with photos from paleontologists, maritime
centers, and news sites. Image search engines make it unnecessary for the
searcher to perform these operations by offering their own image searching
options. These options require that the user simply type in a keyword and
the image search engine will transparently match the keyword to sites with
How do image search
engines work? To summarize Paula Berinstein's work from 1998:
on Web images should also consider Daniel Amor's proposition, which expands
on Berinstein: "Image search engines are using the information that accompanies
a picture, such as the file name (e.g., 'href='cat.jpg''), the alternative
text (e.g., 'alt='this is a picture of a cat') or the text that is next
to the image ('the following image displays a cat'). As long as your search
is very generic, the existing image search engines work very well.... The
problem arises as soon as you search for more specific images. 'A red cat
with a little ball' could be a very common request. Although it is highly
unlikely that the filename will contain all this information, the alt-text
may contain it and the accompanying text as well, but don't be too sure."2
The engines sometimes
look for graphics files. By detecting the presence of the "IMG SRC" (image
source) tag or the GIF or JPG file extension, the engine knows that an
image is probably available.
By matching your keyword
search with the file name, the engine can roughly determine the content
of the file. This might happen by simply reading the filename, for example,
dragon.gif, or by looking in the path for the file name, for example, /public/dragons/flying.gif.
The engine may look
for Web sites whose titles indicate the presence of pictures on a certain
subject. This strategy works occasionally but relies on the existence of
titles that describe content well, which is next to impossible. For example,
"New Mexico Photo Gallery" tells you that you'll find images of New Mexico
at the site, but it doesn't indicate whether you'll find pictures of pueblos,
geologic formations native to the state, or the Santa Fe opera house.
The engines might
employ human intervention to seek out and catalog images. This method results
in the most accurate system, but its labor-intensiveness limits the number
of images that can be processed.
Berinstein also wrote
that an ideal image search engine would display results by showing a thumbnail,
the URL of the image, the URL of the site where it resides, and some information
about the image1.Most
image search utilities now do this.
search tools exist. Some comb the Web for images, archiving thumbnails
of what is found. Others partner with commercial providers and offer pictures
at various pricing levels. Some services maintain their own collections
that searchers may employ in various ways depending on the terms and conditions
of use. If you're interested in finding an image, it should be a snap if
you bookmark some of the following sites.
share the number of images it archives, but the retrieval from some eclectic
searches (e.g., Baron von Richtofen, reclining Buddha, Sydney Harbor Bridge)
indicated extensive coverage. Besides a thumbnail, AltaVista states the
size and format of the image and links to the hosting URL. AltaVista allows
users to search by color/black and white, photos, graphics, and buttons
and banners. Retrieval may come from personal or commercial Web sites,
or AltaVista partners such as Corbis or Rolling Stone Magazine.
relevant thumbnail images and a link to the relevant sites that host the
original images. If the user chooses to see a "detail view," Ditto shows
filename, file size, provides a link to the original URL, and lists keywords
indexing the image. The user can click on keywords for related images.
Ditto says, "...we have compiled the largest searchable index of visual
content on the Internet via proprietary processes, nearly 6 million thumbnails
selected and evaluated from over 115 million images."
Select the "Photos"
radio button. Excite has two image indexes. "Member Photos" are images
posted by users. "News Photos" originate at Reuters and the Associated
Press. Results of image searches may come from professional collections
(free to download as wallpaper or send as an e-card, and usually accompanied
by an offer to buy the photo as a poster) or free from a member of the
"Webshots" community, or a news photo that usually links to a news story
but cannot be freely downloaded.
FAST offers an
easy image search. Click on a thumbnail to see a larger image with details
that include file size, file format, image size, and a link to the hosting
URL. Most thumbnails carry the statement: "This image is copyrighted to
its rightful owner(s)." Use the Fast Advanced Multimedia search [http://multimedia.alltheweb.com/cgi-bin/advsearch]
to narrow to file type, color/black and white, etc.
Google boasts 250
million images. After you retrieve some material, just click the thumbnail
to see a larger version of the image, as well as the Web page on which
the image is located. From the advanced image search page (the address
recommended above), you can narrow results by image size (icon-sized, small,
medium, large, very large, wallpaper-sized), file type (jpg or gif), and
color (black and white, grayscale, or full color).
Like most of the
search utilities, Google admonishes users that the images may be protected
by copyrights. Google further states, "Although you can locate and access
the images through our service, we cannot grant you any rights to use them
for any purpose other than viewing them on the Web."
Go directly to
the Advanced Search, where you can specify file type, domain, page depth,
and more. Type your keyword in the Word Filter ("Must Contain") box and
and Photo Metasearch
Ithaki is a metasearch
tool that covers some of the Internet's well-known engines (e.g., Fast,
Google, Hotbot, AltaVista, etc.) and directories (i.e., Yahoo!, Dmoz, Looksmart,
etc.). The Advanced Search mode offers options such as Boolean, phrase,
or natural language.
By selecting the
"pictures" radio button, the searcher uses IXQUICK to metasearch AltaVista,
Art.com, FAST, and Yahoo!. The only limitation with IXQUICK is although
it may state it has retrieved a specific number of results, it will only
show the user a small fraction of the retrieval. For example, although
IXQUICK found numerous images of "Ben Stein," it displayed only "21 unique
top-10 images selected from at least 875 matching results."
To limit to still
images, select the "pictures" radio button. Search by keyword. A copyright
notice appears with most of the photos, as does a "license professionally"
This search engine
for pictures and images has many features which make it unique. It has
a relevancy feature unrivalled on the Web due to its patent-pending indexing
algorithms. Picsearch states that it has a "family friendliness" that "allows
children to surf in safety as all offensive material is filtered out by
our advanced filtering systems." Use the Advanced Search to limit to animations,
specify size of the images retrieved, and limit to color or black and white.
Once one of the
more popular engines for young people to locate music and images, Scour
is preparing a re-launch as a "legal" source of video, music, and images.
Scour's Beta FAQ says this is being done to avoid $250 billion in lawsuits.
Apparently Scour is trying to form content provider partnerships, and the
content therefore may no longer be free.
The Yahoo! Picture
Gallery is searchable or browseable by category. According to Yahoo!: "From
the Dalai Lama to baby llamas, we have an incredible variety of pictures
that you can use in a number of ways." Having a primary partnership with
Corbis, most of what you retrieve from Yahoo! will come from Corbis and,
therefore, limit use according to Corbis' terms and conditions.
Engine Index to Images
If you want to
save some time, you may wish to bookmark the Big Search Engine Index's
link to 19 engines. Besides most of the aforementioned services, Big's
links include Photo Disc [http://www.photodisc.com]
and the Animation Factory [http://www.animationfactory.com].
What's Wrong with This Picture?
Copyright is the
biggest bugaboo in using images from the Web. If there are over a billion
Web pages, and we conservatively estimate that 20 percent of them contain
an image, we calculate there are over 200 million pictures out there for
people to study, learn from, enjoy, and, if they fancy the notion, download.
Most of the richest sites I have visited stridently declare that the images
residing on their pages are not to be copied. For example, the Smithsonian
Institution Office of Imaging, Printing, and Photographic Services [http://photos.si.edu/]
boasts 15,000 images ranging from the "Star Spangled Banner" to the arrival
of pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang at the National Zoo. None of them, however,
can be reproduced without written permission from the Smithsonian.
The devil's advocates
will postulate that the Web is a public and democratic forum, that if people
post their documents, sounds, files, and graphics, those people should
accept the inevitability that they will be shared. While such a position
may seem logical and practical, it isn't necessarily legal. At one end
of the spectrum you have people who want to drive others to their sites,
and at the other end you may actually have people who feel extremely proprietary
about the content on their sites. Furthermore, you may find that some people
who want to build site traffic (such as professional artists and photographers)
remain particularly possessive about what users do with their material.
One might counter this by claiming, "It's possible to password-protect
your site, write code into your pages that will avert crawlers from indexing
it, place watermarks on your work, or otherwise protect it." But some authors
and Webmasters riposte, "That shouldn't be necessary and we shouldn't have
to do it." This seems more like obstinacy than reluctance.
The real universe
offers some parallels to the virtual universe in this regard. Retailers
(that is, the physical ones we visit at the mall) have their wares in full
view, yet you usually exit through portals that sense anti-theft tags.
Libraries try to hang onto their collections by buying millions of strips
of "Tattletape" each year.
While taking copyright
seriously, some creators/owners of copyrighted material believe that the
vastness of the Web makes it difficult to apprehend perpetrators. Bob Kern,
content/acquisitions manager for IN Jersey — New Jersey's Home on the Internet
[http://www.injersey.com], concedes that there has been unauthorized use
of InJersey's content but adds, "We obviously cannot go around checking
all the Internet sites in the world to see what is being used and what
isn't, so there is little you can do to keep people from pulling stuff
Perhaps image purveyors
would be wise to more zealously protect their property. And some do. Playboy
Enterprises, which in 1997 won a case of copyright infringement when defendant
Webbworld was found to have "willfully infringed" by posting 62 Playboy
copyrighted photos on itssite (Webbworld was penalized $5,000 per infringement
for a total of $310,000)4,
signed an agreement in the same year with Digimarc to place digital watermarks
on images that could potentially be downloaded from Playboy's Web site.
The technology is available to individual photographers for approximately
$100 and runs between $800 to approximately $5,000 for corporate users.
Digimarc not only sells its "ImageBridge" and "ImageBridge Pro" watermarking
tools to safeguard images, but also offers the MarcSpider Image Tracker
— software that can find watermarked images on the Web. Blue Spike is another
company that offers digital watermarking. [See http://www.digimarc.com/products.htm
to read more about the technology that protects images from indiscriminate
People copy many
of the images they like and send them to friends, use them on their own
sites, post them on the Usenet, add them to their presentations, and illustrate
reports with them. But a strict interpretation of U.S. copyright law would
admit that most of this is illegal. Without the permission of the originator
of the work, proper payment, or licensing, this cornucopia of eye candy
turns into a monumental tease. People who download and re-use copyrighted
images from the Web without permission do so at their own risk. Although
the ease with which this can be done is impressive, the mere novelty of
the technology doesn't always make it right.
In 1998 the Boston
Herald paid Bill Swersey, a freelance photographer, $3,500 in an out-of-court
settlement that revolved around its use of a photograph that Swersey took
that originally appeared at http://www.discovery.com5.
A more notable case involves photographer Les Kelly and ditto.com (formerly
the Arriba Soft Corporation). Ditto (which searches the Web and indexes
its images) successfully defended itself in December 1999 when plaintiff
Kelly sued, claiming Ditto, without permission, takes thumbnails of images
and places them in a searchable database. Kelly claimed that Ditto supports
itself by making money on the work of others by creating the database of
copyrighted work (in many cases). Mr. Kelly brought the search engine to
the United States District Court where Judge Gary Taylor decided that Ditto's
operations constituted "fair use."6
The plaintiff further claimed that Ditto breached the Digital Millennium
Copyright Act (DMCA) by initially taking his images out of context and
then eliminating the original copyright information on Ditto's thumbnail7.
Mr. Kelly has appealed the decision to the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals
for the Ninth District. According to Steven A. Krongold (Kelly's attorney
in the original case), the Appeals Court heard oral arguments on September
10, 2001. Krongold expects a decision within 6 months. The appeal's outcome
and fallout will be significant in terms of what search engines themselves
may legally do. Indeed some pundits feel that engines that take a snapshot
of a Web page for indexing purposes are breaching copyright.
Copyright Refresher for Image
Creators of images
have cause to be concerned if someone:
The standard defense
in a case of copyright infringement is to invoke the "doctrine of fair
use." Fair use allows the reproduction of an image, notwithstanding the
creator's rights, for purposes such as criticism, satire, news reporting,
teaching, and research. In determining fair use the purpose of the copying
(e.g., was it for profit?) and the effect the copying may have on the market
for the original image would be considered (e.g., copying might be more
permissible if unlikely to cause economic harm to the creator of the image).
the image without permission.
creates a new image
derived from the original work (by, for example, distorting it).
sells or gives away
displays the image
Copyright was augmented
when the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was signed into law by President
Clinton on October 28, 1998. The DMCA addresses a number of important copyright
issues with Titles I and II, the most salient concerning would-be image
acquirers of copyrighted material. Title I covers circumventing technological
measures used by copyright owners to protect their work; it also addresses
tampering with copyright management information (such as a copyright notice).
Title II creates limitations on the liability of online service providers
for copyright infringement when engaging in certain types of activities
such as system caching. (Remember Les Kelly, noted in Kelly v. Arriba
above, claims that in taking his image out of context and eliminating his
copyright management information, Ditto.com is at fault for copyright infringement.)
[A summary of the DMCA appears at http://www.loc.gov/copyright/legislation/dmca.pdf.]
I have noticed
that most search engines specializing in finding images, including Ditto,
AltaVista, and Google, post either an overall disclaimer or a notice with
each image warning searchers that images may be copyrighted and advising
them to obtain permission before using a retrieved image. For example,
Picsearch posts a rather inclusive statement that covers its own position,
while helping searchers and copyright holders:
Many of the images
on the World Wide Web are protected by copyright. Although Picsearch locates
and displays links to these images, Picsearch does not hold, grant, or
imply permissions or licenses to use these images for any purpose. If you
would like to use any images linked to from Picsearch you must contact
the Webmaster or copyright holder in order to obtain the appropriate permissions
to do so. Picsearch downloads the original pictures only to create thumbnail
images. Afterwards the original pictures are removed. Thus, users can only
access the thumbnails when searching for a specific picture. The thumbnails
are accompanied by references to the original page it was indexed from.
This enables the users to visit the original page and obtain the appropriate
permissions to use the picture. The crawling technology employed by Picsearch
follows the robots exclusion standard and the robots meta tag. If you do
not wish Picsearch to index your pictures please add psbot to your robots.txt
file in accordance with The Robot Exclusion Standard. If you do not have
access to the robots.txt file, Picsearch also obeys the robots meta tag.
Here is some of
the other language regarding "image grabbing" that I have encountered on
Web sites. Notice that while some pages are strict and warn users to refrain
from taking images, others are more indulgent.
From Rigby's World
of Egypt [http://www.powerup.com.au/~ancient/]:
I receive requests
every week from around the world for permission to use photographs and/or
text on personal, educational, and commercial Web sites. This defeats my
original purpose in having devoted considerable personal resources to create
an appealing, educational site containing original content with images
not found elsewhere on the Internet. Therefore, I do not grant permission
for use of the Web site material on Web sites, CD-ROMs or any other form
of reproduction. However, I have no objections to links being made to Rigby's
World Of Egypt — preferably to the home page.
From Sunda Images,
a travel photography Web site, [http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Harbor/5983/homeimages.html]:
Use of images :
Permission for use of images will generally be given upon notification
of publication or Web page where used. All images are subject to copyright
unless permission has been granted.
From Images of
American Political History [http://teachpol.tcnj.edu/amer_pol_hist/_use.htm]:
The intent of this
collection is to support the teaching of American political history by
providing quick access to uncopyrighted images for inclusion in teaching
materials. All images are strongly believed to be in the public domain.
They were obtained from non-copyrighted U.S. government holdings and publications
and from published works with clearly expired copyrights. Thus there are
absolutely no restrictions on their use.
of Pennsylvania Professor Ali Ali-Dinar's K-12 Electronic Guide for African
Resources on the Internet [http://www.sas.upenn.edu/African_Studies/K-12/AFR_GIDE.html]:
are available for use by students, teachers, librarians, the business community,
and the general public.
From Les Kelly's
California's Gold Rush Country [http://www.goldrush1849.com/about.html]:
All images and
text copyrighted 1997 by Leslie A. Kelly/Les Kelly Publications. Terms
of use: All content on this Web site, including all the text, graphics,
photographs, data, and images, are the property of Leslie A. Kelly. Any
use of suchcontent without the express written permission of the owner,
including but not limited to, reproduction, modification, distribution,
transmission, republication, storage or display is strictly prohibited
under federal law.
From Paris Pages'
Musee de Louvre [http://www.louvre.fr/en]:
Up to five documents
or images from the Paris Pages may be used in whole, or in part, provided
the use is strictly personal, not for commercial or financial gain, attribution
and a link is made to the Paris Pages, together with the words "used with
permission" nearby ... you send The Paris Pages a message indicating your
usage of material, and your URL.
Permit Me, S'Il Vous Plaît
permission to use images at sites where they are apparently copyrighted
yields varying degrees of success, the potential graphic user is obligated
to do so. The key to copying and using the image you want is your diligence
in obtaining or your good fortune in locating images at sites where permission
is given in advance. The caveat in the latter case, however, is you must
be confident the site creator is really the copyright holder and hasn't
pirated the images himself. While preparing this article, I attempted to
secure permission from several Web sites.
Having done a search
using Ditto.com, I located a page of photographs of the Himalayan Mountains
from The Lightbox [http://www.the-lightbox.com/].
The page did not indicate that the site author was a commercial photographer,
so I e-mailed the contact person for permission to use one of the graphics.
I immediately received a response that my e-mail had been received, and
shortly thereafter received another e-mail from the site's author (Simon
Kirwan) saying, "Thank you for stopping by! Will be adding more countries
soon!" Nothing in the note addressed my request; no prices were mentioned.
Erring on the side of caution, I decided it would be unwise to use an image
from Kirwan's site.
My next experience
came after I was alerted to a Newseum [http://www.newseum.org/cybernewseum/]
exhibit ironically entitled "Capture the Moment: Pulitzer-Prize Winning-Photographs."
Skeptical, I contacted Newseum's Marketing and Communications Department
and asked for permission to capture one image and include it in this article.
Indira Williams, an associate in the Graphic Resources, Research and News
History Department, responded that if I was writing an article about the
exhibit, I could use the images. If I was going to take the image out of
context, I would need to get permission from the copyright holders. Because
this article is not specifically about the exhibit, using the image seemed
I located an image of the interior of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa,
Rome. The image is copyrighted by Professor Michael D. Calia, a professional
photographer and the associate director of the Ed McMahon Mass Communications
Center at Quinnipiac University. I was delighted when Prof. Calia e-mailed
the following positive response after I requested to use the image:
Thank you for your
inquiry. I would be happy to grant you permission to use one of my photographs,
provided you adhere to the following restrictions:
You agree that
I am licensing to you one photograph, "Leaning Tower of Pisa/Italy-Sept.
2000," for a one-time use only; that you will provide the following credit:
"Photo by Michael Calia" on the page immediately below the image; that
you will not sell the photograph, nor transfer the license to any other
person or entity; and that you will not edit or alter the photograph in
Best wishes for
a successful project.
Michael D. Calia
Ed McMahon Mass
This is the
type of image that a student, researcher, or general computer user could
acquire to complement a research paper, presentation, or online gallery.
Types of Image Files
use the images you find, you should become familiar with some of the flavors
(or file types) that images come in. There are a number of image file formats
used today for various purposes. Some are designed to reproduce ultra-high-quality,
24-bit color images suitable for printing. Others are designed to result
in the smallest file size possible for use over the Internet. Some serve
video applications, such as animation and video editing, while others depend
on particular platforms (such as Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh)
or devices (Truevision's Targa video capture and display cards). The vast
majority of images one finds on Web sites are saved in one of two of the
most popular formats: JPEG and GIF.
GIF is an acronym
for Graphics Interchange Format. It was developed by the online service
CompuServe in the mid-1980s to allow the quick electronic transfer of raster
graphic files that are small (highly compressed) and thus suitable for
low-bandwidth transmission. GIF format files are independent of hardware
and platform. GIF reduces file size partly by limiting the palette of colors
it can reproduce, and so is adequate for viewing on computer monitors,
but may not suit other uses that require full 24-bit, high-resolution files.
Continuous-tone images, such as photographs, are not treated as kindly
by the GIF format as they are by, say, JPEG, but have the virtue of being
very small and therefore quick-loading when accessing them via modem over
standard telephone lines.
There are two types
of GIF files: 87a and 89a. The GIF89a file format supports transparency,
which means you can select a color in your image that will become transparent
when reproduced on the screen. This is often used to reproduce images without
the appearance of straight borders at the top, bottom, and sides.
The Joint Photographic
Experts Group lent its name to the standard it developed that describes
a method of data encoding and compression used to significantly reduce
the size of image files, while maintaining a reasonable level of quality.
JPEG compression technology can also reduce the size of image files saved
in other file formats such as TIFF, and so it serves as both a file format
in its own right and a technology used to enhance the features of other
formats. JPEG supports 24 bits of color data, which allows it to reproduce
millions of colors. Many applications allow the user to select the amount
of compression applied to the image, making it convenient and flexible
for adjusting the quality of the end result.
JPEG images, with
the file extension ".jpg," are platform independent and extremely
common on the Internet, because the relatively high compression (anywhere
from 5:1 to 15:1) allows good quality and small file sizes. Best used to
preserve image quality in photographs and images with subtle variations
in color, despite its "lossy" compression method. "Lossy" refers to any
compression technique that actually discards some image data, so re-saving
and re-compressing JPEG files will ultimately degrade the image.
BMP, which stands
for "bit-map," is a standard file format primarily used by the Microsoft
Windows operating system. The format is capable of millions of colors,
but has very large file sizes. Because BMP files are native to Windows,
they tend not to be as common as platform-independent formats such as JPEG.
Developed by the
Aldus Corporation (creators of the original PageMaker desktop publishing
software) in the mid 1980s, the TIFF (Tag Image File Format) image file
format was designed to serve as a standard file format for saving and transmitting
high-quality images from sources such as scanners, paint and photo-editing
applications, frame capture devices, etc. TIFF images can be used on different
platforms such as Microsoft Windows, Apple's Macintosh, and UNIX. TIFF
images can come compressed or uncompressed.
There are various
"flavors" of the TIFF file format, due in part to the different compression
schemes (LZW, Huffman, etc.) used to reduce file size, which means that
a user can conceivably experience difficulties opening a variation of the
TIFF format in a given application. But because TIFF has indeed become
an "industry-standard" file format, it is generally very well supported
and capable of saving high-quality images in color, grayscale, black and
white, and palette-color.
The PICT format
also emerged in the mid 1980s and was originally used by Apple's MacDraw
image creation and editing application. It is a "loss-less" format, which
means that unlike JPEG, it does not discard extraneous image data. Files
therefore tend to be fairly large. The format is commonly used for video-editing,
video frame capture, animation, and other video-related applications.
[To learn more
in detail about file formats check Encyclopedia of Graphics File Formats:
The Complete Reference on CD-ROM with Links to Internet Resources,
2nd Edition (1996) by James D. Murray and William van Ryper.]
With images you
find from commercial images vendors and, at times, through the image search
engines too, you'll need to acquaint yourself with some terminology that
circulates around the use of some images. Depending on the intended use
of what you retrieve, you will encounter this jargon.
Comping — Short
for "Comprehensive Rendering." "Comping" images are medium- to low-resolution
images that you can use to "try out" in your layouts to see how they will
look. Corbis allows individuals to use downloaded images for "comping"
For images purchased outright for use in any way you want. Royalty-free
images are often priced based on file size; the smaller the file you purchase,
the less you can do with that image (artistically), so the fee will drop.
Apparently no effort is made to monitor where the images will be used.
For images "rented" for specific purposes at a specific price. Once you
negotiate a fee with the photographer or rights-holder for the specific
use you have in mind, any other use is subject to an additional fee. Theoretically,
records are kept of each publication to prevent conflicts.
Whether you only
wish to view images or download and use them, explore some of the sites
on this list. Although the list is not exhaustive, it's a good snapshot
of the many excellent sites that offer images. To find these sites I performed
a variety of "keyword" and "similar to" searches on Google. I also zipped
over to http://www.invisibleweb.com
and searched by keywords "images," "stock photos." Searchers who wish to
explore more sites that offer a variety of graphics should do likewise.
And, always read the FAQs or copyright statements!
Memory at the Library of Congress
The American Memory
home page declares it "is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating
to the history and culture of the United States. The site offers more than
7 million digital items from more than 100 historical collections." LC
says that some materials in the collections may be protected by the
U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and/or by the copyright or neighboring-rights
laws of other nations. The copy of the daguerreotype reproduced with this
article was permissible to use because the copyright information included
with it said: "The Library of Congress is not aware of any restrictions
on these photographs."
By searching Artcyclopedia
you not only retrieve images, but also receive a list of links to collections
on the Web with more related images. For example, a search of "John Singer
Sargent" provided one image and a list of other Sargent exhibitions that
contain more of his works.
yet easy-to-navigate site features 40 main sections with over 600 subheadings.
The photographs are free to private, noncommercial users and for sale to
commercial users. FreeFoto.com contains over 20,000 images with new pictures
added every week.
A moderate collection
of images that can be used, according to the site's FAQ, for some personal
and commercial purposes (such as Web sites), but not redistributed.
and Free Stock Photos
These images are
free as long as the user doesn't redistribute them to others. The site
says "spread the URL, not the files!"
A minor gold mine.
Here you can download stock photographs absolutely free. Not just royalty-free.
Use in any Web site or publication you wish — personal or commercial. Use
without any royalty, use fee, or cost of any kind. Users must credit the
source by domain name FreeStockPhotos.com and may not crop out a credit
if it appears on a photograph.
Launched in 1996,
the Thinker Image Database represents over 110,000 objects from the collections
of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Personal use is not mentioned
under "Use of Images," which says, "Any commercial use of images or requests
for publishable-quality copies of images must be arranged through our Photo
Services office." Recommended: Go to "Advanced Search" and use the fielded
Image Services Requiring Payment
to over 1,500,000 clipart images, animations, photos, fonts, and sounds.
Subscriptions are available for periods of 1 week, 3 months, 6 months,
and annual. Sample rates: $7.95 per week, $153.40 per year. The database
is easy to search. A FAQ states: "Feel free to use ArtToday content in
commercial or noncommercial projects to create Web pages, T-shirts, posters,
book covers, art, advertising, newsletters, presentations, logos ... you
name it! There are no per-image costs, royalties, or extra payments for
ArtToday's content when you follow the Usage Guidelines below. We make
it easy for you to use our files for virtually any purpose — except to
compete with us."
The other company
that Bill Gates owns, Corbis has acquired the rights to over 23 million
images and photographs. The gallery is open to professionals and other
end-users for free searching and e-cards, but only payment of a fee will
allow downloading of images without the Corbis watermark. Corbis's terms
allow users to download one copy on a single computer for personal, noncommercial
use (such a copy would bear the Corbis watermark).
A hub of access
to over 200,000 images, some royalty-free and some rights-protected. Pricey
and for professionals.
categories for Animated GIFs, Clip Art, Icons, Wallpapers, and Photos.
This is a commercial site. By searching it you will retrieve thumbnails
and have an opportunity to buy the image, visit the creator's site, or
find copyright information about the image. The GoGraph FAQ states: "For
personal purposes, you may use the images found on GOgraph's Web site and
include a limited number of those image(s) on a personal, non-commercial
and royalty-free imagery serving graphic designers, ad agencies, corporations,
and small businesses. Customers can search and preview the entire image
collection, and purchase and download royalty-free images 24/7. Good-quality
royalty-free images begin at $49. Rights-protected images are also available.
"Comping" images (which most people are doing when they right-click their
mouse and save a file) is free at Imagestate.
search engines do an adequate job of identifying relevant graphics for
users to view and manipulate, developments that support more precise searching
are inevitable. But searchers shouldn't have any problem finding the images
they want. The only problems that may arise will occur when users decide
what they want to do with the images they have found. The Les Kelly
v. Ditto (Arriba) case is worth following for those tracking the legal
perspective toward the use of images from the Web [see http://netcopyrightlaw.com/
for updates]. Notwithstanding the outcome of Kelly's appeal, there are
still plenty of terrific images out there to view and use!
|Image Is Everything
Image search engines
that crawl the Web have two goals: finding pictures while trying to discern
exactly what those pictures show. How do the engines do it? Let's take
When a search spider
crawls the Web, it is looking for image files—files that have .jpg and
.gif extensions. When a spider finds a probable hit, it generates a tiny
copy of the image.
Next the image
is scanned by software that will analyze it by dimension, pattern, and
number of colors. After the analysis is completed, unwanted images (i.e.,
banner ads) are filtered out by the software.
In the next step,
the software examines the image's file name, any text that comes with the
image, the text used by other pages to use to the image, and alt-text tags—hidden
text descriptions. This enables the software to categorize the images so
the images can be made keyword-identifiable.
All this happens
so that when a user does a search, the search engine can not only post
a thumb-nail of the image, it can link to the image's Web site.
How To 'grab'
an image from the web
permission, paid for, or having found uncopyrighted/public domain material
here are two slick ways to copy an image from the World Wide Web:
On a conventional
1. Using your
mouse, click the right mouse button.
2. In Netscape,
click "Save Image As." (In Explorer, click "Save Picture As.")
3. You will be
prompted with a default filename (which you may change). Under the filename
a default file type will usually appear with the appropriate file extension.
4. Select the destination
in which you desire to save the image, and click SAVE.
On a Macintosh
1. Point your
cursor over the image.
2. Click down and
hold the mouse button, wait for options.
3. Select "Save
this image as."
4. Release the
mouse button (dialogue box will open).
5. Select Desired
6. Rename the file
7. Click SAVE.