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Finding Images: Copyrighted Images

Finding and Using Images

How can you tell if an image is copy protected?

How can you tell if an image is copyrighted?

The following indicators can help determine if an image is protected by copyright:

1. Is there a watermark on the image? A visible watermark is a clear sign that the image is under copyright. Sometimes the watermark may contain the name of a company or website. Get in touch with the owner to see if the image can be used.

2. Is there a copyright symbol on the image?  undefined

3. Is there a statement of ownership or information on sourcing? If yes, you can reach out to the person or site and get permission to use the image.

4. Contact the U.S. Copyright Office to see if an image has been officially listed? You can search the copyright files for free but fees are charged for written records

5. Do a reverse image search on Google to get more information about the image. A reverse image search can show you where the image came from and who owns it, the terms of use of the image, and whether other sizes of the image are available.


The following screenshots show you how to do a reverse image search using Google:

1. On the Google page, click on "images" on the top right.




2. This will bring up the Google Image search screen with the camera icon,




3. Now you can paste the url of your image in the search box or upload your image if you have it saved on your computer, or drag and drop your image into the search box and click on "Search by Image". A list of all the sites that have your image will show up. You can then investigate and wee where your image came from, who the owner is, see if the image is under copyright or if there are terms of use associated with the image, and if there are other sizes of the image available for your use.