Images, Copyrights, and the Pixabay Plugin

Choosing images to use in my pages and posts can be a minefield. How do I steer clear of unintentional copyright infringement? I could pay for commercial images from a reputable supplier, but that would violate my guiding principal of not paying for web stuff when at all practical.┬áMy preference is to always use images that are verifiably public domain. When I can’t find or create an applicable public domain image I resort reluctantly to Creative Commons, though I cringe at the hypocritical requirements and restrictions.

When it comes to public domain, the ‘verfiably’ part can be tricky. Google can tell me that an image is “Labeled for reuse with modification”, but is it labeled correctly, and by whom? Tracing a specific image back to its source can be difficult to impossible. So, I don’t trust a blanket Google search.

I decided to trust Wikimedia – they seem to do their homework pretty thoroughly. I also sometimes search Gutenberg to find images published before 1923 – the current cutoff date for copyright protection in the United States. And I use a lot of public domain font characters (e.g. webdings) that I enlarge to image size.

Recently I stumbled onto the Pixabay Images plugin. The plugin has been around for awhile, and Pixabay has been around much longer, so not sure why it took me so long. As best I can tell, the people at Pixabay do their homework thoroughly too. The plugin takes most of the drudgery out of finding and using public domain images. It is a huge time-saver, and is my new first choice when I need an image.

WPPOV supports freedom from Net Neutrality and the GDPR. The Internet of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth.