|Flickr is a good resource for |
CC licensed images (image by Protohiro)
Getty Images Asks $1500 For Small Image
Yep, you read it right. And they mean it. Just look at ExtortionLetter.info a website devoted to victims of Getty Images Settlement Letters and other related demand letter programs, most notably George P. Riddick, owner of obscure vector clip art collection, harassing small mom and pop shops across USA. If you visit Extortion Letter forum it is full of stories where victims downloaded images from free websites or even people who bought images from stock sites. Many are in disbelief since they thought if they buy an image they can use it however they choose. Particular problem here are website designers that sell website templates with embedded stock images. When Getty, after many years, discovers that image, they find owner of the site liable, not the designer.
So, beware how you use images you download from the Internet. Always check copyright information - if you are buying an image, check how you can use it before you buy it. If you are downloading it from free sites, you must also check copyright information from these sites and make sure the author gives you right to use it. If you are buying a website template or similar, always ask about images embedded with the product. Can you use them, where they come from, does the company have copyright to sell it to third party etc.
Here is a list of legitimate free web sites with original artwork where authors give permission to use images under different Creative Commons licenses or Public Domain.
Free Stock Photos
Public Domain Pictures - thousands of free stock photos
Public Domain Photos - 5.000 public domain photos
Wikimedia - millions of images
Totally Free Images - 400.000+ public domain images
GIMP Archive - mostly public domain images from government institutions.
Flickr - millions of images. To find CC licensed images, use Advanced Search option.
Vectorportal - thousands of free original vectors under CC license
Vecteezy - free vectors from thousands of contributors
Freevectors.net - huge collection of vectors from various contributors
Open Clip Art - huge library of free vectors
Qvectors - similar to Vecteezy