June 18, 2014 Mitchell Derrey

We touch thousands of presentations and see that many
presenters use photographs, artwork, videos, or music found using search
engines or from third parties in their presentation. This third-party material
requires a license for the particular media. Using copyrighted material can be
effective in your presentation, as long as you obtain the appropriate
permission in advance. We’ve put together some suggested ideas and sources to
help you. This post is not intended to be legal guidance. If you have
additional questions, seek your own legal counsel.

All images you find online are protected by copyright law.
Even if the copyright symbol (©) is present or not, the copyright applies. You
always need the owner’s permission to use them. Even if the
drawing/cartoon/photograph has been published on a web site, in a newspaper or
a book – you must get permission. Copyright protects:

  • Literary works
  • Musical works and accompanying lyrics
  • Pantomimes and choreographic works
  • Pictorial, graphic and sculptural works
  • Motion pictures/Audiovisual works
  • Sound recordings
  • Architectural works

If you need some
sites to get started, check these out.

iStock Photo is a
great site for images and video files. You can search by price, color or crop
(portrait, square, or landscape.)

thinkstock lets you save multiple images in
different categories and do batch downloading. You can also have a subscription
service that lets you download a set amount of photos per day.

Getty Images and
Corbis offer
a number of royalty-free images as well as rights-managed images.

iconfinder offers
free and fee-based icons. You can easily see the license fees when you hover
over an icon.

Remember Clipart? Microsoft Office Online
has thousands of free clips to pick from as well.

Many of our designers use Bing Image match. You can upload an
image and find sites that have the same or similar image. It’s a great way to
find an image you already like on a stock photography site and purchase it

You’ll need to do some work to get the appropriate
permissions. Don’t risk a lawsuit. Don’t be unethical. It might take an extra
step, but you’ll be covered.