'Royalty-Free' Graphics: Are They 'Free to Use'?
Royalty-free graphics are offered on a good many web sites. They are intended for people who aren't themselves photographers, and who need high quality images for their work. A royalty-free image is a stock image that may be used by a number of different individuals or businesses. Because the images are ready to use, this is an attractive option for anyone who can't afford a large investment of time or money in order to complete a project.
Distinguishing Between 'Royalty-Free' and 'Free To Use'
Quite often, royalty-free images are available for download when the user pays a small or moderate fee. If an individual takes the image without paying and then uses it online, that's copyright infringement.
You may be wondering why that's so. Let me explain: Normally, if you use an image in a commercial project that paid you earnings, you're expected to give a percentage of your earnings to the person who owns the copyright for that image. That's what a royalty is! It's similar to the revenue share you get from your paid to write web sites. It's the artist's cut of the profits from your project.
Royalty-free just means that the artist isn't expecting you to pay a share of your profits. You do need to pay a fee to purchase the right to use the image, though. So it's not free , but it is royalty-free .
Free Alternatives to Royalty-Free Images
If you don't want to pay to download a licensed copy of a royalty-free image, you shouldn't use it at all. So stay away from sites like Shutterstock, iStockphoto, and Dreamstime.
You're better off using a free-to-use or public domain image instead. I like to recommend Pixabay to my fellow writers, and I use the site myself a lot. It offers quality images at no cost, and there are no other obligations as the images are released to the public domain.
Note: This content has been adapted from an original piece by the author, which has since been removed from EliteVisitors
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/lens-photography-colorful-desktop-582605/