I have a couple of questions about the legality of the content of some websites. I am currently working on two websites and I would like to make sure I am not breaking any laws, by using some content like I am...

  • Do I need to get a license to use images from the Internet (such as google.images.com) in my site, assuming they aren't a company logo belonging to another company? If not, am I allowed to use it after I modify it with a image editing software?

  • If content such as phone numbers, e-mail addresses, website addresses, and text from websites can be found for free online, and I gather this information for a search engine based site that I am working on and offering this information on a paid basis (similar to google, but more specialized), is something that is legal?

Note: I am not 'copying' or redirecting business from anywhere, to my site. The exact opposite, the site I am working on actually helps advertise businesses and make it easier for customers to find them.

  • 3
    What is your jurisdiction? We have no idea if it's illegal if we don't know what laws you are governed by.
    – msanford
    Oct 12, 2012 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


In terms of images you need to make sure that you either have permission from the owner/publisher to reuse the images for a commercial basis. It doesn't matter where you find the images, if they are copywrited and you use them you are eligible to be targeted with legal action.

It depends on what you're selling the data for... if it's for a mailing list that your customers will market to then this is 100% illegal. when selling data lists it is solely your responsibility for ensuring that the data provided has opted into being contacted in some way (signed up for a survey/agreed to receive 'similar' information from other companies, etc)

In my opinion (I look after digital marketing for a global company that do a lot of print and online marketing) it's better to be safe than sorry...

You can always buy images from website like shutterstock and gather data from people via online surveys/whitepapers

Hope that helps!

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