Apr 13, 2017
All images on Artloutline are released into the Public Domain under Creative Commons CC0. Therefore, the images can be modified and may be used freely for any application - also commercially and in printed format. Attribution in appreciated, but not required.
In addition to these common sense regulations, there is more to know:
Imagine, would you like to see your face in a TV spot without being asked for permission? No? Therefore,identifiable people must give their consent for public usage of their images. This is meant by the term "Model Release".
The same goes for private property: Would you like to see your private home displayed for example on an advertising column without prior notice? Nope? That's the reason for the so-called "Property Release". The object owner must give permission to use pictures of his/her belongings. But the Property Release also coversspecial cases, where designs or seemingly public buildings are protected. Examples are designs of new notebooks or mobile phones, as well as the Chrysler Building in New York or the London Eye. If you'd like to use pictures of that, the creators/owners must be asked for permission. Getty Images offers a large and highly useful database for looking up intellectual property release requirements: http://wiki.gettyimages.com/
However, there is a difference between editorial and commercial use. Model- and Property Releases are particularly important for commercial applications. If you are i.e. showing an image on your blog, it is non-commercial, editorial usage. In general, no release is required for such applications. Commercial use is loosely defined as all sorts of businesses, where you are actually selling something, or if you use images for advertising purposes. Take particularly care, when it comes to huge quantities, e.g. if you were to create an advertisement in a famous magazine or if you were to design a new iPhone cover.
Conclusion: It all may seem terribly complicated or risky, but actually, it isn't. Simply put yourself in the position of a depicted person or in the position of an owner or designer: Would you approve of the intended application without being asked? That is the question you should always ask yourself before using a public domain image without release.
Understand "public domain" as the permission to freely use (display, modify, print, etc.) an image without asking permission from the image author. However, it is still your responsibility, to make sure the depictedcontent (persons, logos, private property, etc.) is suitable for your application and does not infringe any rights.