Copyright is the mechanism that allows artists to make a living by granting them the exclusive right to control the usage of their works for a set period of time (currently the artist's lifetime plus 70 years).
It takes years of practice and expense for an artist to acquire the skills to make desirable images. It takes time and expense to create images and manage the usage of those images. Using images you find without permission from the copyright holder is theft, which is both illegal and unethical.
1. It is a myth that all artwork on the web is in the public domain. If you did not create it or license the right to use it you may not use it without permission from the copyright holder.
2. Since 1989 it has not been necessary for the © symbol to accompany artwork to preserve copyright owenership for the copyright holder.
3. The creator of any artwork automatically and immediately owns the copyright to his/her art as soon as it is created.
4. Artwork that is registered with the United States Copyright Office is granted powerful legal protection. Unauthorized usage will result in the infringer being liable for up to $150,000.00 in statutory damages for each image willfully infringed plus attorney's fees.
5. All work on this site is registered with the United States Copyright Office.