Any image from unsplash.com is free to used?

According to unsplash.com
Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide copyright licence to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.

Based on this statement it is copyright free. Now I would like to know there are images of the people which are present in unsplash.com. Below is the example link

I want to use the picture of these folks in my project. These pictures of people can be used on commercial and personal project right?

Something like that crowd scene where individual faces are not distinguishable the answer is a qualified “probably OK”
But my clients who use stadium shots tend to add a bit of blur to the backgrounds to make sure the faces are unrecognizable.

But a single posed or action shot of a model or models really should have a model release. In the case of no model release most of my clients will reject the image and move on to one that does have one, even if they have to pay for it. Actually, they’d almost rather pay for it as part of their due diligence.

The other issue I have is crediting photographers. Most times we have to credit them. My clients have rejected images based solely on the photographer’s alias. No one wants Dick Dogpuke rolling on their credits. If they want it really bad, they may ask us to do a 5-10 minute search of the profile or a reverse image lookup to see if we can find the photog’s contact info. Usually not though. Also related, they may ask us to do the same if they want to attempt to get a model release through the photog. Again, usually with poor results.

We had to get a signature on a document before releasing it - and the person signed it something like Johann Pronub. And the operator inserting the name onto the system put in Johann Pornhub… and it went to regulatory for a final check, external check that is to another company… well they were not happy!!!

If in doubt - just email their support.


Sorry about the earlier link I would like to use this image on my project. Based on the above explanation I get that I have to ask the original owner of the image but if that the case what is the use of Unsplash.com. I mean they pretty much claim that all the images present on the Unsplash website can be used as commercially.

From unsplash:

“Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash. This license does not include the right to compile photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.”

However, it also states:

"This means that Photos on the Service come with a very, very broad copyright license under the Unsplash License. This is why we say that they are “Free to Use.” Note that the Unsplash License does not include the right to use:

Trademarks, logos, or brands that appear in Photos

People’s images if they are recognizable in the Photos

Works of art or authorship that appear in Photos

If you download photos with any of these depicted in them, you may need the permission of the brand owner of the brand or work of authorship or individual depending on how you use the Photo. Please see our FAQs for more information and, if you still aren’t sure, you should probably talk to a lawyer who knows about these things."

So, since the image you shared clearly has a person’s image that is recognizable you may want to reach out to the photographer first.

Qualifying it even more, laws vary from country to country.

In the U.S., when out in public, one gives up a certain expectation of privacy, so even a recognizable face in a crowd might be OK depending on whether or not that person just remains a face in the crowd or is highlighted in some way. It gets riskier if there’s an implication in how the photo is used that suggests someone is endorsing something. Riskier still is when a minor’s face is recognizable in any capacity without written permission from a parent or guardian.

In news media use, it’s typically not necessary to get anyone’s permission to use their photo as long as the news story or the photo’s context doesn’t imply something about the person that isn’t true. It’s a First Amendment freedom of the press thing that’s practically iron-clad.

©2020 Graphic Design Forum | Contact | Legal | Twitter | Facebook