When you are looking for graphics on line, you need to be very careful that what you are picking up is free to use.
It may have a copyright symbol like the one on the left or a watermark like the one on the image below to indicate that it is not free to use without the creator’s permission.
The gray lettering and lines are a watermark. The watermark can take many forms. Basically, it is something foreign to the finished image that prevents a simple copy from being made.
Either of these additions indicate that the image must be purchased or licensed from the creator or you may be subject to law suit. If you look further, you may find a paragraph like the one below in the terms and conditions section of the website.
No copyrighted materials on the Site may be copied, reproduced, distributed, modified, republished, uploaded, posted or transmitted in any way, without the prior written permission of the owner, except as follows: you may download the material for noncommercial use only, provided you do not delete or change any copyright, trademark or other proprietary notices. Modifications or use of the materials for any other purpose violates the intellectual property rights and other rights of the owner. You further agree that you will not disassemble, decompile, reverse engineer or otherwise modify the Material. Any unauthorized or prohibited use may subject the offender to civil liability and criminal prosecution under applicable federal and state laws.
One of the places where we run into difficulties is that people buy school photographs from a specific studio and then want us to copy those photos. A copyright mark on the back or a studio name on the front, gives us notice that copying is not allowed.
If the photo is more than a certain number of years old, our client can sometimes contact that studio and get permission for copying. Basically that is because the studio has not saved the original past a specific date. The number of years can vary from 2 to 10. It just depends on the studio.
If you have portraits done with a private photographer, he may sell you a disc with all the photos which you can use without restriction. This is frequently done for business people who need head shots for publicity purposes. It is also done for family portraits by some photographers.
If you are curious about creative rights, this links to a post that might be of interest. While it is not a recent post, the laws have not changed.
Remember, at DuMond Printing, business is personal.
214 West Commercial
Lyons, KS 67554