In a push to reduce copyright infringements on images, Google is now offering a new solution to filter image searches by “usage rights”. This search tool has been available since 2009, but it has only recently been moved out of the ‘advanced settings’ to the main menu of search filters and tools.
This is not a surefire way to find royalty-free images, however. You should always be sure to look into the source of the image and whether or not the image is approved for usage, especially when using it for commercial purposes. The safest way to use images on the web is to get a membership to a stock photo website such as Getty Images or ShutterStock.
Barry Schwatz, author at Search Enging Land, an SEO news and blog website, voices his concerns on the matter, “That is my main concern with Google bringing this feature to the front, making it way too easy to suggest to searchers that they can legally use images when they might not really be allowed to do so”
Over the past year thousands of people were sued by Getty Images alone for copyright infringements. These can be multi-thousand dollar settlements that you never saw coming. Be sure that when you’re searching for free images, they could cost you big time in the long run.