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Contrary to popular belief, pictures found on Google Images are not free to use any way you want. Google has recognized this belief is widespread, so they have now implemented a new filter in their search results that will show you the images which are legal to use.

Using it is very simple. After entering your search term, click on the “search tools” option in the menu bar. That will drop down to reveal more options, including “Usage Rights“. Then choose the license you are looking for, and the search results will update instantly. The first results are often from Wikipedia (or associated pages).

According to 9to5 Google, it is not clear how Google identifies which images are legal and which ones are not. But it’s pretty safe to say that anything on Wikipedia is free to use, and with the rest, it would be good to cover yourself legally by linking to, and crediting, the image owner in your work. Eventually Google will probably clarify how it categorizes images which are free to use, and which ones are not.

Having a “Usage Rights” filter is not new. Yahoo has had this option for quite some time, with search results drawing upon their Flickr photo site. Nevertheless, it is good that the world’s largest search engine has finally added the feature too. Now there is no excuse for stealing images from people, saying “…but…I didn’t know!”

Source: 9to5 Google

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  1. Mindplus
    November 8, 2016 at 1:29 am

    ?

  2. Hitesh
    February 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Very nice article, thanks for information.....find legal images at here

  3. Vivek
    February 9, 2014 at 8:57 am

    This was added Years ago and I posted about this before a year ago..!! http://www.shoutmehow.com/how-to-search-for-copyright-free-pictures-using-google/

  4. Kevin M.
    February 3, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    New to you but this feature has been part of Google search for longer than I can remember.

  5. Michelle List
    January 20, 2014 at 5:44 am

    Thank you, this is useful.

  6. Amir M
    January 18, 2014 at 8:54 am

    works for me :)

  7. gurningchimp
    January 17, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Am I missing something? This has been in the advanced search options for ages?

    • Angela A
      January 19, 2014 at 1:59 pm

      It's been hidden in the advanced settings, so some people knew about it but others didn't. Now it's one of the main search filters - easy to spot and use.

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