Do you know how to remove copyright from Google images?

The digital age has been both a blessing and a curse for content creators and users.

On one hand, we have the world’s information at our fingertips, and on the other, we grapple with the nuances of intellectual property rights in the vast online space.

A common pitfall? Google pictures. It’s a treasure trove of visuals but also a minefield of potential copyright issues.

Have you ever wondered if there’s a way to ‘remove’ or navigate these copyrights, ensuring that the images you use are free from legal entanglements?

Let’s delve into the world of  pictures, demystifying copyright, and exploring how to source and utilise imagery responsibly.

Does Google Image Have Copyright Protection

The world of digital imagery is vast and intricate, with pictures serving as a primary gateway for many users searching for visual content.

However, a common misconception is that all pictures found on Google Images are free to use. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here’s a breakdown of copyright protection as it pertains to pictures:

Inherent Copyright Protection: Every original piece of artwork, including photographs and digital pictures, automatically receives copyright protection the moment it’s created and fixed in a tangible form.

This means that the creator or the copyright holder has exclusive rights to the image.

Google Images as a Search Engine: Google Images is essentially a search engine that indexes images from websites across the internet.

Just because an picture appears in Images does not mean it’s free from copyright. In fact, most images you find here are copyrighted by default.

Misconceptions about “Available Online”: Simply because an picture is accessible and can be easily downloaded doesn’t imply that it’s available for general use.

The ease of access can sometimes lead users to mistakenly infringe on copyrights, assuming the online visibility equates to a free-use license.

Usage Rights Filter: Google Images offers a tool that can be immensely helpful if you’re specifically looking for pictures to reuse.

By using the “Usage Rights” filter, you can search for images labeled for reuse or even for commercial purposes.

However, even with this tool, it’s essential to verify the image’s license on the original website or source to avoid any potential legal pitfalls.

Always Assume Protection: A safe rule of thumb when using pictures is to assume every image is copyrighted unless explicitly stated otherwise.

Look for licensing details, permissions, or Creative Commons licenses that dictate how an image can be used.

Importance of Due Diligence: If you’re keen on using a picture for commercial purposes, publications, or wider distribution, always conduct thorough research.

Reach out to the copyright holder for permissions, or consider purchasing a license if required.

Alternatively, use platforms dedicated to providing royalty-free or licensed pictures.

How To Use Google Images?

Google Images, one of the most widely-used picture search engines, has revolutionised the way we find and access visuals on the web.

From seeking inspiration for a project to identifying the origin of an pictures, its applications are vast.

However, effectively using  pictures, while also being aware of the associated copyrights, can make all the difference. Here’s how to use pictures like a pro:

1. Basic Image Search:

  • Step 1: Visit Google’s homepage.
  • Step 2: Type your search query into the search bar.
  • Step 3: Click on the “Images” option right below the search bar to filter results to only show pictures.
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2. Advanced Search Filters:

  • Once you’ve executed a basic search, you can refine your results further.
    • Use the “Tools” option beneath the search bar.
    • Adjust parameters like size, color, usage rights, type of picture, and time.

3. Usage Rights Filter:

  • If you’re seeking images for reuse, Google provides an essential tool.
    • After initiating a picture search, click on “Tools”.
    • Select “Usage Rights” and choose the appropriate filter (e.g., “Labeled for reuse” or “Labeled for commercial reuse”).
    • Always verify the image’s license on its original website or source before use.

4. Reverse Image Search:

  • Google Images allows you to search using a picture rather than text.
    • Visit the pictures homepage.
    • Click on the camera icon in the search bar.
    • Upload an image from your computer or paste the image URL.
    • Google will find visually similar pictures or the same image in various sizes or resolutions. This is useful for tracing the origin of an image or finding higher resolutions.

5. Using Google Lens (On Mobile):

  • Google Lens, available on the app for mobile devices, lets you search what you see.
    • Open the  app and tap on the Lens icon.
    • Point your camera at an object or upload a photo.
    • Google will provide information or find similar pictures based on what it detects.

6. Remember Copyright Considerations:

  • While it’s easy to download images directly from Images, remember that many of these images are copyrighted.
    • Never assume an image is free to use just because it’s accessible.
    • For content creation or commercial purposes, either seek permission from the original copyright holder or opt for licensed or royalty-free pictures.

7. Use Dedicated Platforms for Specific Needs:

  • If you consistently need pictures for presentations, websites, or marketing materials, consider platforms like Shutterstock, Pixabay, or Unsplash that provide clearer licensing terms.

In essence, Google pictures is a powerful tool when used responsibly and effectively.

By mastering its features and always keeping copyright considerations in mind, you can ensure you’re harnessing its potential while also respecting the rights of creators.

Can We Remove Copyright Infringement from Google?

Google, as one of the world’s largest search engines, has a major responsibility to ensure that it respects copyright laws and intellectual property rights.

If copyrighted content is unlawfully distributed or shared via Google’s services, there’s a process in place for rights holders to request its removal.

But can one really remove copyright infringement from Google? The answer is yes, through the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice. Here’s what you need to know:

1. The DMCA Takedown Notice: The DMCA is a U.S. copyright law that offers rights holders a mechanism to request the removal of their infringed content from websites, including search results from search engines like Google. By submitting a DMCA takedown notice, a rights holder can ask Google to delist specific URLs that contain infringing content.

2. Google’s Role: Google doesn’t directly control the content on third-party websites, but it can remove specific URLs from its search results in response to a valid DMCA takedown notice. This means that while the content remains on the actual website, it becomes harder to find via Google.

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3. How to Submit a DMCA Takedown Notice to Google:

  • Visit the Google Legal Support page.
  • Select the Google service where the infringement is occurring (e.g., Google Search, YouTube, Blogger).
  • Fill out the appropriate DMCA form by providing all required details about the copyrighted work, evidence of the infringement, and your contact information.
  • Submit the form.

4. After Submission: Once Google receives a DMCA takedown notice, they review it for its validity. If the notice meets all requirements:

  • The specified content or URL is removed from Google’s search results.
  • Google informs the website administrator about the takedown request, giving them an opportunity to address the issue or submit a counter-notice if they believe the takedown was unjustified.

5. Counter-Notice and Potential Relisting: If a web administrator believes their content was wrongly taken down, they can submit a counter-notice to Google. If the counter-notice is valid and no further legal action is taken by the original complainant, Google might relist the URL in its search results.

6. Protecting Yourself from False Claims: It’s essential to ensure you’re not using copyrighted content without permission, as the DMCA process can be used against infringers. However, if you believe you’ve been wrongfully accused, always seek legal advice before proceeding.

How to Remove Copyright from Google Images?

The internet, with its vast ocean of pictures, often leads to a critical question: Can one remove copyright from Google Images?

The phrase itself can be a bit misleading. You can’t literally “remove” copyright from an image, as copyright inherently belongs to the original creator of a piece of work.

However, if you’re looking to use pictures without infringing on copyright or want to address copyrighted images of your own appearing on Google, here’s a guide to help:

1. Using Images without Copyright Restrictions:

  • Use the “Usage Rights” Filter on Google Images: After entering your search query, click on “Tools” beneath the search bar, select “Usage Rights,” and then choose the appropriate option like “Labeled for reuse.”
  • Turn to Royalty-Free or Creative Commons Platforms: Websites such as Pixabay, Unsplash, and Flickr’s Creative Commons section offer pictures that you can use freely, often only requiring attribution.

2. If You Own the Copyright and Want an Image Removed:

  • Submit a Removal Request to Google: If your copyrighted image is appearing on a website without your permission and shows up in Google’s search results, you can request its removal using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) procedure.
  • This doesn’t delete the picture from the website, but it will remove the specific URL from Google’s search results.
  • Contact the Website Directly: For a more direct approach, reach out to the website hosting your picture and request its removal. They might comply, especially if you provide proof of ownership.

3. Altering or Modifying Images:

  • Seek Permission First: If you intend to alter an image to make it “different” and hope to bypass copyright restrictions, be careful.
  • Making minor changes to a copyrighted picture doesn’t necessarily free it from its original copyright.
  • Always seek permission from the original creator if you intend to modify and use their work.
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4. Licensing and Purchasing Images:

  • Buy a License: Many stock photo websites, like Shutterstock or Getty Images, offer images for sale. Once purchased, you’re free to use the picture based on the license’s terms and conditions.

5. When in Doubt, Assume It’s Copyrighted:

  • The safest approach when dealing with images online is to assume every picture is copyrighted unless explicitly stated otherwise.

6. Consider Creating Original Content:

  • If you’re concerned about copyright issues, one of the most straightforward solutions is to create original content.
  • By producing your own picture, you retain full rights and control over their use.


Google pictures serves as a vast reservoir of visual content, but with its abundance comes the challenge of copyright navigation.

It’s essential to understand that the term “removing copyright” isn’t about stripping rights away, but about responsibly accessing and using pictures in a way that respects creators’ rights.

Whether you’re a content creator, a business, or a casual internet user, being conscientious about copyright ensures that you leverage the digital realm’s opportunities without infringing upon the hard work and creativity of others.

In a world driven by visuals, a respectful and informed approach is the cornerstone of harmonious digital sharing.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Q: Can I use any picture I find on Google pictures without worrying about copyright?

A: No. Most images on Google Images are copyrighted by default.

Just because an image is available online doesn’t mean it’s free to use. Always check the pictures’ source or website for licensing information before using it.

2. Q: How can I find pictures on Google that are free to use or reuse?

A: After entering your search query on Google pictures, click on “Tools” beneath the search bar, then select “Usage Rights.”

From there, you can filter pictures by their licensing, such as “Labeled for reuse.”

3. Q: I found my copyrighted picture being used without my permission on a website indexed by Google. How can I get it removed?

A: You can submit a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown notice to Google. This will result in the specific URL being removed from Google’s search results.

Additionally, consider reaching out to the website hosting the picture directly to request its removal.

4. Q: If I make changes to a copyrighted picture, does it become free of copyright?

A: Not necessarily. Making minor modifications to a copyrighted image doesn’t automatically free it from its original copyright.

If the pictures is still recognisably derived from the original, you could be infringing on the original creator’s rights.

5. Q: Are there platforms where I can safely get pictures without worrying about copyright issues?

A: Yes. Websites like Pixabay, Unsplash, and Pexels offer royalty-free picture that you can use for various purposes.

Some might require attribution, while others do not. Always read the licensing terms on these platforms before using the images.