Should Wallpaper Use Be Free?

Posted on 9/3/2013 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (2)

Many Internet users seem to believe that it is OK to use any image they find online for wallpaper on their site. The next step is to grab a bunch of images they like and create a site that makes the images available to others for free wallpaper use. And, once they’ve gone to the trouble to create a site the site owners figure they might as well make a little money by selling a few ads.

Check out World Pictures at You’ll see images on the home page from Getty, Corbis, Gallery Stock, Superstock, Alamy, Robert Harding World Imagery, Tandemstock and others.

The interesting thing is that not only are they giving these image files away for free, they are telling those who decide to download the images that they have a Creative Commons license to use these images.

The explanation of the license says users are free to (1) to Share — to copy, distribute and transmit the work (2) to Remix — to adapt the work and (3) to make commercial use of the work as long as they give attribution.

This site is registered to Jose Arnao in Lima, Peru. Email: (wneanb@zfa.pbz) Tel. +051.017174988

Another site you may want to check out is While this site doesn’t list the names of the copyright owners, we know that the copyrights to many of the 2893 images on this site belong to people other than the site operator. The “Copyright policy” for this site is very interesting.
    for Users : Attention every visitor to this website. You can download anything from here for desktop purposes only. You do not have any permission to use any image commercially (in website backgrounds, wall backgrounds, printing for that). You must obtain the permission from the original copyright holder of that image for using them commercially.
      (How users are supposed to learn how to contact the “original copyright holder” is unclear since in most cases there is no information in the File Info.)

    for Copyright Holders : All the images in this site are collected from various resources available on internet through search engines like that and please consider the fact that we do not intentionally distributing your work. We always respect your work in creating those wonderful images. But due to the fact we are using a 3rd party script which doesn’t have feature to display credits & copyright information. Currently are working on it. We already requested our users to comply with our copyright policy.
If you are still not satisfied with our copyright policy. Please take time to inform us through our pbagnpg cntr. So we can take an appropriate action as soon as possible.

The owner of this site is Anang Kurniawan, of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Email: (nanaxebznavfgl@tznvy.pbz) Tel. +62.085229228

Readers might want to check out these two sites to see if any of their images are on these sites and at least tell the owners that they would like to have their images removed.

We know that there is at least one legal action for copyright infringement against each of these sites. On the other hand, given the locations of these two sites it seems unlikely that there will be much in the way of monetary compensation.

The bigger question is how many more sites like these are out there, and what kind of damage do they do to the revenue potential of professionally produced imagery. And will there ever be any practical way to stop them.

Copyright © 2013 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


  • Larry Minden Posted Sep 3, 2013
    This is an immense issue. Minden Pictures has sent take down notices to nearly 100 free wallpaper distributors giving away our images. You're lucky if they take down your images but you're living in a dream world if you think you are other than throwing your money away by hiring attorney's to file suit against sites with ownership in Peru or Indonesia let alone, Russia or China.

  • Yuri Kozlov Posted Sep 4, 2013
    You address the right problem from the wrong angle. It's not about wallpapers. It's about rampant copyright infringement of images on Web. This phenomenon changes rules of stock photography. I can take any watermarked photo from Shutterstock, run google image search on it and get watermark-free image in seconds. The sheer scale of copyright infringement makes it impossible to fight and calls for new concepts and business models. That would be interesting subject for an article.

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