If you are in need of some good photographs that you can use on your website and get for free, then creative commons pictures are probably the first thing that comes to mind. And while the fact that these pictures are really easy and quick to find, and free to boot, is a very appealing one, there are definitely a lot of negative sides to using them as well. In this article we will discuss with you some of the cons of creative commons licensed pictures because we feel it is important for you to see both sides of the story.
Something that is not really a con in the traditional sense, is the fact that some photographers don’t always understand the terms of the license that they have attached to their pictures. We say this doesn’t necessarily qualify as a con because this may be something you never encounter, but is still important you know about it. More than anything else, a problem like this can be very exhausting and time-consuming even if you are within the scope of the license, so if you see any conflicting information next to the picture, something along the lines of All rights reserved or Contact before using, we recommend you simply walk away.
Another thing that may or may not be a problem is the fact that only a third of all creative commons pictures are marked for commercial use. Now, if you are using them for personal purposes then this won’t be as big of a problem, however if you are on the other side of the spectrum and you need them for commercial use, as is the case with most people, then this is a huge issue. Something that complicates things even more is that you can never really be sure as to what a creator will deem as commercial use, so it’s best to just stick to pictures that are specifically marked for commercial use.
Even if you do everything right and follow the license completely, you still may end up being infringed. Even though this seems impossible, it actually is and the most common reason for that is that a lot of the time people take pictures that don’t belong to them and mark them as creative commons. This means that even though you thought you were doing everything right and that everything was legal, you can still end up in trouble. So if you think that a photo looks dodgy, simply leave it and move on to the next one.
The whole point of using creative commons pictures is that the whole process should be easy and simple and not give you a lot of trouble. However, looking at all of these cons, it seems to use that going through the trouble of finding these images may not really be worth it after all, but the final choice will, of course, be up to you.