Using Free Stock Photos and Fonts, Legally | Minute Law | Spear IP
Using Free Stock Photos and Fonts, Legally | Minute Law | Spear IP

This is Minute Law with me, Maria Spear
Ollis of Spear IP. “Free” doesn’t always mean free.
I hate to break it to you. But when it comes to using free
stock photos or free fonts, you really have to dig into what “free” means.
The assumption is, if a font is on a free font database then
it’s free to use for your own purposes. Same thing for a stock photo website: if
it’s on a free stock photo website, what would make you think that you wouldn’t be
free to use it in whatever context? The reality, of course, is that the terms of
use or licensing section of that website will govern how you can use those
materials and what “free” really means. Some websites might have attribution
requirements. “Attribution” is a fancy way of saying credit or crediting the author
or artist. Some websites might — some websites might require that you pay an
additional fee if you’re using the font or stock photo commercially.
What does commercially mean? Well, if you are a bride creating your wedding invitations
using a free font is that a commercial use? I don’t know. You’re distributing
invitations to family and friends, you’re not using it in kind of a business
context, so that’s debatable. You might get away with using a free a free font
for that purpose. But if you’re a stationer or a graphic designer creating
wedding invitations for a client, well, that’s a commercial use. You’re using it
in a business context, you’re using it in a commercial transaction, because you’re
charging for your services and creating that product that you’re delivering
delivering to a client. So bottom line is, check those terms of use — or the legal
section or licensing section, it could be under a few different names — to make sure
that that free font or free stock photo is being used properly. So I hope that helps.
See you next time.

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