If you’ve ever worked on a PowerPoint presentation, you’re probably aware that well-placed images can take your entire display to the next level. However, if you are using PowerPoint’s stock images, you may be wondering whether they are copyrighted.
As a general rule, PowerPoint stock images are free to use as long as they are kept within the context of PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office applications. These images are sourced from stock imagery sites and are provided as a perk for Microsoft Office subscribers.
Adding stock images is a great way to enhance PowerPoint slides. However, it’s important to know what your limitations are. Keep reading to learn more about copyright concerning PowerPoint stock images.
If you’ve ever played around with PowerPoint, or maybe even set up your very own presentation, you’ve probably come across the menu option that allows you to insert stock images. As a Microsoft user, you have access to thousands of images to use in your presentations. While these are a great opportunity to enhance slides with meaningful imagery, photos usually come with certain limitations.
The images found in PowerPoint’s stock image library are copyrighted. These photos are provided by third party stock image sites in an agreement with Microsoft. Some of these image sites may include:
- Envato Elements
The license for these photos that Microsoft Office provides may not always cover the full usesage rights of the images. So, while you have access to them when using PowerPoint, it’s essential to know exactly how much freedom you have.
According to Microsoft’s license agreement, PowerPoint stock images are free for Microsoft Office subscribers, so long as the photos remain within the context of the application. However, there are some restrictions that are important to take note of:
- Products with the image provided by Microsoft cannot be sold, licensed, or distributed if the image is the main value of the product
- Users cannot grant clients or customers the rights to use the photo
- Images cannot be used to represent people, governments, trademarks, or logos in a way that implies endorsement or association
- Photos cannot be used to create obscene works or products
The general idea is that the photos provided by Microsoft can be used without restriction unless that image is used on a product for sale.
Much of the time, if someone is concerned about a stock image’s licensing, it’s because they intend to use the photo for commercial purposes.
In total, PowerPoint stock images can be used for commercial use within the confines of PowerPoint, so long as the image isn’t being redistributed or sold on its own.
Microsoft offers access to premium images that are ideal for users who sell commercial products like PowerPoint slide decks and documents. Users can even modify photos and export the file into another format.
Keep in mind, however, that you don’t own the images for general use. You cannot take them outside of Office applications for use in a different context, such as making mockups on Placeit or designing a book cover on Canva. For this, you would have to source the image from a third party site.
If you’re concerned about the limitations that come with using PowerPoint stock images, your best bet is to use a free stock image source. These photos are typically considered open source and are free for commercial use.
Some of the sites that offer free stock images include:
Keep in mind that because these photos are free for commercial use, they will not be unique to your brand or style. You may even find several versions of the photo you choose across the web or even used in a similar campaign to your own.
Another option is to purchase your stock images from a renowned stock image site. This will give you more options to match your images to your brand’s style, and you will have more freedom to use the photos however you choose.
Finding great images to use in a presentation isn’t always an easy task. To help with this, Microsoft has provided access to stock images within its applications. However, it’s important to understand the End-User Licence Agreements so that you know exactly how and when you can use these photos.
Hopefully, this article gave you a better idea of the copyright on PowerPoint stock images, and walked you through what you can expect when using these photos in your own projects.