Is It Legal To Use Textures Off Of Google, In Models For Sale?

Hey Guys! :smiley: I was looking around for some book cover textures… And I found these on Google:
https://www.google.com/search?q=book+cover&biw=1366&bih=633&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=RnqgVNP1EMyfgwSlxIHwBw&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ#tbm=isch&q=book+cover&facrc=&imgdii=&imgrc=uFA7GjaIPYyJTM%253A%3BVBRvHa6b9TlhqM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.learntostudythebible.com%252Fimages%252FBook-Cover-Large.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.christiannewswire.com%252Fnews%252F2523511329.html%3B900%3B641

I really liked what I found, but I’m concerned about the possible copywrite on this stuff… So, is it legal, or not? If it’s legal, Hallelujah!!! If not, what can I do?

No, it’s not legal for commercial work. Those are someone else’s copyrighted works.
What can you do? Make your own.

Steve S

Agreed, Google images in general don’t seem to have any concept of legality even for display purposes (much like how Google’s search engine will link to various kinds of illegal activity).

While it is true that Google images advises about possible copyright, the Googleplex in general really needs to crack down on access to illegal material and services via their website.

You can click Search Tools, and filter by license. In theory filtering by labeled for reuse should be okay, but given how often Google’s algorithms false-flag on YouTube, I doubt their image search is much more reliable.


It isn’t very difficult to make a fake book cover in GIMP or something though. Pixabay has some high quality free to use images. Beyond that it’s slapping a title on it.

Actually, Bing has search tools right off the bat when you go into the image results for your search.



I use them exclusively for texture searching (and actually searching for everything, so I guess I’ve basically replaced Google with it). This may be unpopular, but I find their tools to be much more useful overall (albeit slightly clunky), since they’ve undergone a lot of quiet steady development.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?pq=book+cover+texture&sc=1-18&sp=-1&sk=&q=book+cover+texture&qft=+filterui:license-L2_L3&FORM=R5IR42

Keep in mind, a lot of people still do it regardless. Even in film and vfx. Insanely enough, sometimes matte paints jack concept art from games or other media and “blend” it into their paintings. Its a common practice, but like others said I do not recommend it. Get a camera, make your own library and pull from texture and free stock photo websites.

Here is one of the more notorious examples: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/19c13xsa18ascgif/ku-xlarge.gif

Okay, thanks so much guys!!! :smiley: I think I’ll go with bing, and make my own :stuck_out_tongue: Thanks again! :smiley:

If it’s just for hobby or educational purposes what is there to worry about?

Not everybody has an elephant in the garden to take a picture of the skin. That’s why there are pages like CGTextures, especially made for the purpose of commercial CG needs.

If it’s just for hobby or educational purposes what is there to worry about?

The lawyers, in case the image ever enters the internet. They don’t mind if you have stolen a picture for a hobby. Stolen is stolen.

But copyright is a very complicated thing, and dependand of where you live and act you might use a image for your texture in one country, while it is forbidden in another country.

And because it is so complicated you better have a look at the available license. And keep your hands away where there is no license information to find.

@Benjamin: I try bing.com (from Italy, if it might help), I get all the filtering options you show… but for the content copyright one ?!? is there any &thing I have to add to the URL to get it?

If it’s for hobby or educational uses there’s a case for ‘fair use,’ but since the OP was asking if it was okay to use for models for sale, i.e. commercial purposes, then it’s 100% not okay. You have to license those images, and most likely pay for them.

Here is one of the more notorious examples: http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/19c1…/ku-xlarge.gif

I think it’s much more likely that the VFX house contracted the same concept artist that Bioware used to create them a matte than it is that they took a screenshot from Mass Effect and then significantly re-worked it into a matte for that shot (assuming they didn’t both just license the same base work and adjust it to their purposes). Especially since there was a fair amount of press about this and neither BioWare nor the effects house in question ever commented.

I think you need to start from here (bing.com/images?cc=us)

Alternative - http://search.creativecommons.org/

I’m using to sell…

Thanks guys! :slight_smile:

Thank you, that way it works.

I was going to point you to creativecommons :wink: but that’s been done lol
one thing to watch for is dif country’s have dif laws just know your walking in a minefield and look twice rofl

LOL! XD Haha! Yeah…
Creative-commons uses clipart though… Which is useless! :frowning:

I’ve also seen it done when Universal did it with Jurassic World. One of the things that they have on their site used artist’s reconstructions just blackened out and stuck on a blue disk.

https://scontent-b-sjc.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10690164_10152668439748369_1910634878121521469_n.jpg?oh=0233ea350f859dacb7d4587ed3afb787&oe=5517601B

No, it doesnt work that way in the industry. I am close to a few of the people who work on that particular show. The matte painter literally just grabbed something off the net, which is actually very common. While they shouldnt be doing it, they rarely get caught. Using concept art in a matte painting is extremely poor judgement (it was looked down upon by the vfx community). EA Bioware did eventually comment on it once the story gained some traction, it would have been bad PR to go after the vfx house (fuse vfx) so they just said “they were flattered”, additionally there may be some deals happening between EA and Disney, and thus no need to create bad blood through while possible talks for licensing are taking place. The matte painter in question however most likely got an earful or even fired.

But yeah, it was not and is never more likely they would contract the same artist for that. The artist doesnt even own their work on a project, so they would not be able to copy it. VFX houses, and I say this from experience, would rather pay less and bring in more revenue for the business… they will cut corners when possible. Because of the dead line on these tv shows, they can be quite lazy in where the material comes from.