One reason you are reading this article is that you want to use a public domain image on your site. Or else, you want to learn more about them for future reference. Either way, you are on the right platform. As you may be aware, anything on public domain is free for use by anyone for whichever purpose they may want.
Nevertheless, several misconceptions are surrounding the issue. Probably, you have heard the wrong facts from your peers and even experts. But, you want to assess their validity before you make your final decision. Good. Here are the three untrue facts about public domain images:
a) All public domain images are of poor quality
While you can find low-quality images under public domain pictures category, it is not a maxim about the sources. Public domain sources also have quality images. For instance, Wikimedia houses images of this kind. As a photographer, you upload your images here and secure them with copyright until the expiry date.
Upon exceeding the given expire date, your images become available to everyone without a requirement to seek for copyrights. Certainly, you cannot upload poor quality images to showcase your work. As such, the images with expired copyrights are of high quality and available to the public which proves this misconception wrong.
b) Any image on the internet is on public domain
Another misconception about the public domain pictures and images is the assumption that all photos on the internet are available for public use. If you think so, you are wrong. Even though an image or a picture does not have a copyright protection sign, it does not mean it is free for use.
Also, even making a copy of the same or editing it to look unique does not turn the image to the public domain or personal creation. Hence, unless you have obtained images from a public domain source and it states so, you must seek copyrights from the owner of the picture obtained from anywhere else on the internet.
c) You can edit an image from public domain sources and protect it with copyright laws
Some people think that editing is developing a new image. As such, they download images from public domain sources edit them and put a sign to show they have intellectual property on them. This is a misconception of the highest order. Whether you edit or not, no one can claim or reserve a copyright on public domain images.
With this information, it is clear to you how to treat public domain images and avoid conflict with the copyright laws.
De la serie “Cosas para morir de envidia” este experimento de visualización de documentos en dominio público desde @nypl_labs https://t.co/HYMztLPbzn We ♥ the Public Domain! pic.twitter.com/JRdEZCiU6I
— Honorio Penadés (@ehonorio) 21 de diciembre de 2017
More topics about Royalty Free Images that you can see here