Bellevue, WA – January 5, 2008 – The web search always begins with a burst of optimism. The graphics designer, webmaster, or a client does a web search for “free clip art” or “free images”, and the resulting sites are almost always come-ons. They may show a few sample images free, but licensing terms are vague, the actual images are hard to get at, or whatever free clip art that may be had is buried under a blizzard of pay-per-click ads.
Even if the “free clip art” or photographs can be found, they are often not free to use at all. Many authors allow their images to be used only in noncommercial sites, leaving the offending site owner vulnerable to a DMCA takedown notice, or a cease-and-desist letter that leaves an unsightly hole in the site’s graphic design.
Royalties are another area many site owners do not understand. Many for-pay stock photography sites require not just payment up front, but also royalty payments every quarter. These royalty payments amount to a property tax on virtual real estate and a comfortable annuity for the photographer.
The research arm of Working Webmaster, a site dedicated to assisting webmasters find free and low cost ways to create, maintain, and promote their sites, did extensive Web research to locate sources of free clip art and photographs that commercial sites can use without fear of copyright reprisal. License terms for each site were scrutinized, copyright law analyzed, and pages were checked for excessive ads, misleading text, and effective category management. The researchers’ overriding concern was that images could be used without loss of credibility in professional situations, and they were pleasantly surprised to find 9 sites that passed muster, with a total of thousands of images that met commercial quality standards.
Working Webmaster has now issued Free clip art, royalty–free images, and free stock photos for your site, a special report listing sites with genuinely free clip art, photographs, and other no-cost, royalty-free images. Sources vary widely, from the expected public domain images scanned from old books to recent photographs by gifted photographers to a treasure trove of surpassingly beautiful, abstract-looking satellite pictures of the Earth. Fittingly, the special report is free.
Working Webmaster is a free resource for anyone responsible for creating, maintaining, and promoting a website. Its goal is to provide information on free and low cost resources for:
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