Be Prepared! Scout Illustration avoids copyright infringement

Truly Public Domain Images for Marketing and Blogging

Be Prepared!  Scout Illustration avoids copyright infringement.  Source: NYPL

Be prepared! When possible, use public domain artwork to illustrate blog posts so you don’t have to worry about copyright infringement. Don’t, however, smoke Gallaher’s Cigarettes or any other cigarettes. Smoking and Scouting don’t mix. Neither do smoking and blogging.
Image Source: NYPL

The New York Public Library yesterday announced an extraordinary new tool that gives access to over 180,000 out-of-copyright digitized images. As the NYPL’s blog explains:

“Today we are proud to announce that out-of-copyright materials in NYPL Digital Collections are now available as high-resolution downloads. No permission required, no hoops to jump through: just go forth and reuse!”

That’s great news for online marketers. The public domain images are not only available for free use, but highly searchable. Use the NYPL’s visualization tool to find images that might work for you by color, genre, age or collection. Or use the search function to search by keyword, but be sure to click “public domain” to ensure you can use the results you find. Have fun and be creative!

And remember — just because it’s on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s public domain. But here, the NYPL has digitized older images that are clearly outside of the bounds of copyright law — most of the images were originally published prior to 1923 — and so you can use the images so-labeled without issue.

Not sure if the images you are using are going to get you in trouble? Or threatened with a cease and desist letter for an image use on your blog or company website? Contact Dineen Wasylik at DPW Legal — we can help you navigate the issue and understand your rights.