Pixabay is loaded up with all kinds of royalty free images, vectors, videos and music. Therefore if you’re trying to find some images to use in your next video Pixabay may be your first stop. Still, before you actually go using them in your video, you’ll want to know if you actually can or if you will get some sort of copyright strike.
You can use Pixabay images in your YouTube videos because they are all copyright-free and come with personal and commercial usage rights. However, there are some restrictions when it comes to displaying people’s faces, logos, designs and anything else that could be sensitive.
If you’re looking to spice up your next YouTube video with some royalty free images from Pixabay, but you’re not sure if that’s okay, we’ve got you covered. In our guide below we will discuss Pixabay’s policy on using their images as well as whether or not you can use their other media content.
What Restrictions Do Pixabay Images Have On YouTube?
While Pixabay acknowledges that the images on their website themselves are copyright free and able to be used for personal or commercial reasons, they also point out that there can be some restrictions based on what’s in the image. You’ll want to make sure you know what these restrictions are before you use an image in your video.
Below are some restrictions that may apply to images you find on Pixabay if you plan on using them in your YouTube videos:
- Peoples Faces: Depending on how you’re using an image, you may not be able to show someone’s face without having their permission to do so. This really will come down to the distinction between editorial use and commercial use. We will get into that distinction in more detail below.
- Logos: Logos from major companies can become a problem if you are using the images for commercial use. Be careful of what logos you allow in your images, unless, of course you are simply using them for editorial purposes.
- Designs: Some people’s designs can also have copyright attached to them that makes them tricky to use for commercial purposes. Really watch out for these.
- Property: You don’t want to accidentally put someone’s address out there by inadvertently showing it in your image. This can lead to the same kinds of problems as using someone’s face without getting their permission to do so.
You can use any of these for editorial use. However if you plan to use them for commercial use you may need to make sure that you have a property release so that you don’t run into any legal trouble.
If you are in doubt, we recommend using a fully commercially usable library with YouTube thumbnail templates like the ones from Placeit. They will keep you out of any potential legal issues, and give you some really good templates to start with.
What Decides if You Can Use a Pixabay Image On YouTube?
At the end of the day, there are really two things that decide whether or not you can use a pixabay image on YouTube.
We’ve broken down the two major factors in whether or not you can use a Pixabay image on YouTube below so you can be confident in what you choose:
- The purpose of using the image: You can get away with using a lot more images if you are just using them for editorial purposes. You generally won’t need any releases or permissions to do so because you’re not using them commercially. Commercially on the other hand, you might need to be more vigilant of what you include.
- Depicted content: This is really all of the types of content we listed in the previous section. If your image depicts a famous logo, you will need permission to use it for commercial purposes.
For most YouTube channels out there, you’ll probably be good either way. It’s just when you’re using your channel for something like advertising that you really want to put your ear to the grindstone and make sure everything is in order.
Can You Use Other Media Content From Pixabay On YouTube
The same rules that apply to images also apply to the other media content on Pixabay like video or music. Just make sure the depicted content doesn’t clash with your purpose for using it.
So Really, Can You Use Pixabay Images On YouTube?
At the end of the day, Pixabay images are all copyright-free and meant for use both commercially and personally. However, depending on the depicted content, there may be some restrictions on what images you can realistically use if you’re using them commercially.
If you are using the images commercially, just make sure they don’t have any logos in them or other sensitive/copywritten material like peoples faces or well known designs. Still, nine times out of ten, you should be good to go!