A successful website not only needs good content, it also needs an appealing look. This makes image elements essential for a website. Paid and free platforms offer a wealth of different images, so choosing a suitable image shouldn’t be difficult. But be careful! Imagery is also of the new one GDPR not been spared. In our article we will show you what you have to consider with the new changes in order to be legally on the safe side!

Observe the copyright for third-party images

If you want to use photographs or graphics from third parties, you must observe the copyright according to Section 15 of the Copyright Act (UrhG). Specifically, this means that if you are not using your own image material, you must obtain the rights to use it from the author of the image. Only then can you use the photo or graphic for your website in a legally harmless manner.

Use your own photos for the website

Bloggers in particular are increasingly using their own photos for their blog to report on their experiences. This method not only saves money, but you can also use exactly the motif that you need for the post without having to go through various online platforms beforehand. If you can see people in your photographs, however, you must respect the “right to your own image” and obtain permission for the use of all persons depicted.

Find images via online platforms

If you don’t want to take your photos yourself, you can get pictures from various online platforms. Free platforms such as pixabay, wikimedia commons, flickr and pixelio are idealo for non-commercial blogs and websites.

For commercial blogs it is advisable to obtain photos and graphics from shutterstock, thinkstock, istockphoto or fotolia. For a small fee you can buy beautiful pictures on these platforms.

In both cases, irrespective of whether the image material is free or subject to a charge, the picture credits must be given correctly. This is indicated on the download page.

Obtain images through Creative Commons

The non-profit organization Creative Commons offers another way of finding legally unobjectionable images for your website. This has drawn up six different Creative Commons licenses (CC licenses). With these, the author can specify exactly how his image may be used. For example, the author can determine whether his image may be used for commercial purposes, whether it may be reproduced, whether it may only be used for non-commercial purposes, etc.

When using Creative Commons images, certain information must also be provided in the image caption or the image source. This includes the name of the author, the title of the work (if available), the URL to the work and the corresponding CC license.


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