Usually a website without photos is boring to look at it. If you have a website, for your business or your personal blog you might like to add photos in it. Where do you get those images then? Best approach is taking your own photos. However what is you do not have good photos related to your subject? What do you do then? Do you get it from internet? Just search on Google or Yahoo images? Surely you can copy images from the internet search and use on your site, but then sooner or later you will get in trouble with copyrights. Just because you found a photo on the web that does not mean it is free to use; unless specifically labeled royalty free image.
Common practice always seek a permission to use a photo, wherever you find it.
If the photo labeled copyright to somebody, avoid using it, unless he or she gives you permission.
You can search Royalty Free (RF) labeled images on the web and use them on your site freely.
Or you can purchase from stock image companies whatever photo you need. Then you need to read license agreements carefully.
All images on the web will have different licenses to use.
Pay attention to Restrictions! Especially cut outs, digitally altered images and illustrations.
Rights Managed – (RM): If an image labeled Rights Managed (RM) usually it means you pay a license fee each time you use the image.
Permission: If a person wants exclusive use of an image the he or she will ask your permission.
Royalty Free -(RF): You pay to stock image company or to the photographer a one time fee.
Licensed Material: It means an image, such as print, original digital file or any Reproduction thereof, or any other product protected by copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right, which is licensed to Licensee by Licensor under the terms of an agreement.
Every stock image company have their own rule of usage of these images. Usually when a photo labeled as Royalty Free it means you pay for the image only once and then you can use it as many times as you like,. However if the image has some restrictions, you may need to purchase their extended license. Generally online a Royalty-Free license image apply for the high-resolution, non-watermarked image. Do not forget a Royalty Free license does not give you right to resell the image, you should buy Sell the Rights license for that. That may not apply for every image on a stock agency.
“When you purchase a Royalty-free photograph you are purchasing the right to use it without paying a fee, or royalty, each time you use it. This means that royalty-free photos can generally be used an unlimited number of times by the licensee who pays a single upfront fee. This makes royalty-free images the popular choice when the image is intended to be reused numerous times or the project has a low budget.
However, being free from royalties does not make the images themselves free. The licensee pays for the right to use the images, but ownership remains with the creator/distributor. Images can therefore not be resold by the licensee.”
You also need to read details about photo usage restrictions. Photos can carry some restrictions.Such as you can buy the photo to use only on the web, but you can not use on a printed material such as postcards, posters, calendars, newsletters, so on.
When you decide to buy photo from a stock image company always read details about their license agreements before purchasing.
For instance online Stock Image companies: