Check the Licensing Agreements

When you’re on a hunt for just the right image you’ll want to be sure to check the licensing agreements.
Nowadays, with so much content – graphics, books, posts, and more and more available online it’s easy for some people to think it’s all there for the taking.
But it’s not of course. Any contemporary work is covered by copyright. A copyright notice is not required nowadays in the US though that was not always the case.
But what about “free” images? Many sites offer free images to download. But before you think you’re all set and you’ve scored the perfect image for your project you’ll want to read the fine print. Oftentimes, the image can’t be used for commercial purposes for example. And that covers a lot of ground – if your website is for your business you’re out of luck. Or perhaps you were hoping to make a product to sell using the image. It’s quite possible that won’t be allowed or only limited numbers may be created.
And how about images you purchase? You would think that if you’ve bought it, it’s yours. But that’s usually not the case either. Carefully read the licensing agreement and / or the terms of use before you buy an image. The stock images site typically have very long and detailed agreements that detail what you can and can’t do with an image you purchase. Some uses will be allowed, others won’t. Size restrictions, numbers of copies, and more are spelled out in the fine print.
I’ve been buying images for my websites for years and haven’t paid much attention recently to the agreements on the sites I use. But when I wanted an image for part of a blog design I took the time to read the licensing agreement again. I was paying good money for the image so it really hadn’t occurred to me that my use of the image would be constrained. But sure enough it was – in a variety of ways. So I’ll be sure to be reading those agreements the next time I want to purchase an image.
Our terms for use of the images on VintageImagesToGo.com are very generous. The graphics we have on the site come from our personal collection of vintage paper ephemera, collected over many years. The original graphics are in the public domain. We’ve scanned the images, meticulously and laboriously cleaned them up, and often altered them in a variety of ways. You can purchase and use our images as logos, as design elements on your website, on business cards, in calendars, in books, in craft projects, in products created for resale such as postcards, t-shirts, mugs, magnets, etc on sites like cafe press, ebay, easy or dazzle, and in a myriad of other ways. The only limitation on use is that you don’t offer the images as-is for sale or to give away. If you’re using the image online we’d love a link back to the site but that’s not required. So have at it! The price and terms are hard to beat.