Straight up, I cannot make buttons with images “found” on the internet.
This is not Halloween. People act like photos, illustrations, clipart, and other images posted on the internet are up there like a bowl of trick or treat candy set out for anyone to take whatever they want. Surely, it must be okay if you can right click and save?
No… it is NOT okay.
There is a little thing called “intellectual property rights” which simply means that ALL images are copyrighted, someone OWNS it, even if they do not have a little © symbol or words scrawled across, up the side, or under it. The OWNER has the “right” to decide IF and/or HOW their “intellectual property” is used. That is where it gets complicated, as there are a lot of variations in permissions and restrictions. Even those who give (or sell) permission for “commercial use” can limit what kind of products their image will go on and how many times it can be used.
If you are not familiar with any of this, visit CLIPARTLORD and read some of the little paragraphs under images of “free” images as that site is very good at citing permissions.
Yes, I use some of their clip art for button designs. I also purchased a CD set from Nova Development with 500,000 images and I do look for images on the internet… but it is important to carefully read the fine print in use agreements. There are some image services that allow permission to use for only as long as you pay monthly fees to subscribe to their service, some that restrict how products with their images are electronically displayed, and even “button design” CD’s out there that are sold by button parts suppliers for “personal use only” which seems odd, but makes sense. (That’s like saying it is okay to use their political button template design to make your own buttons if you yourself are running for an office, but not okay to make buttons for someone else.) Like I said before, it gets complicated.
Bottom line: without the proper use permissions, I cannot make buttons with images owned by other people. Even that cute flower photo your sister snapped while gardening and posted on social media will require her permission to use.
That also means no Disney, no NFL emblems, no beer logos, no celebrity photos, and all the other obvious and not so obvious images out there… use permissions are required.
I have “lost” orders because I flat out refused to make buttons with stolen images. That’s like OH WELL, they can find someone else to make them… and speaking of other button makers, please do not ask me to make a button exactly like someone else does! If you like their button design so much, go buy it from them!
I am seriously thinking about focusing my little business on retail designs instead of custom buttons so I won’t have to deal with such nonsense. I will still make custom buttons, but my end all goal will not be focused on landing custom orders.
Sometimes, it makes me feel like this: