Since I've become a contributor in #Photo-manipulation group, I saw that a lot of deviants don't what exactly is a stock image. So I'm giving a small guide for all those who want to know what is a stock image.
Read the guide carefully.
1. What exactly is a stock image?
A stock image, is an image that photographers usually take to provide it as a resource for digital artists.
A stock image can contain: an object, a place, a landscape, a model, ecc .
This stock images are provided for digital artists such as graphic designers, digital painters, photomanipulators and so on.
They can take the image and edit it as they wish using programs such as Photoshop, PaintShopPro, GIMP, so on and so forth.
2. Do stock images have rules?
Yes they have! And I'm using bold so you can understand once and for all that if you use stock images you must follow the rules that the stock artist gives you.
Usually stock artists give permission for you to use their work in your personal project. This is especially within deviantART (but not necessarily).
There are stock images which can be used for commercial purposes as well. You can find them within deviantART looking in the Unrestricted Stock list which can be found here but you can as well find them on websites that are specialized in providing stock images.
3. Pictures with bands, singers, actors or whatever ARE NOT STOCK!
Everytime I browse the digital art section it gives me headaches. I see all over the place people that just take images with singers or bands and edit them.
I don't know if any of you actually took the time to read the deviantART Copyright Policy but taking a picture with a band or a singer it's art theft.
You take the work of photographer without having a written permission and just edit it however you want.And that is prohibited.Those images are protected by copyright law.
It's exactly like taking a picture from deviantART which is not under the "Stock" section, edit it, and then upload it as your work. How would you feel if you would post a picture which you took and in a few days you'd see that picture all over the website edited in 1000 ways without your permission?
STOP editing pictures that are NOT STOCK. It's ok to use them as reference for your drawings or digital paintings as long as it's something you've created from 0 and you didn't take the picture "as-it-is" and edit it.
4. Google or Yahoo search are not stock searching engines
DO NOT USE IMAGES YOU FIND ON GOOGLE OR YAHOO or any other searching engine IN YOUR WORKS!
Everything you find on the internet is copyrighted and you are doing art theft by taking those images.
Do not use images in your works unless they come from a stock website or you have a written permission to use a certain image.
Ask kindly. Sometimes photographers do give permission for you to use their pictures. But at least ask - don't steal it.
Don't think that you'll never get caught, or no one will notice, or that "so many others are doing that".
People are not that stupid. We are not that stupid. Some of us know many more things then you actually image, and you'll get caught once.
5. Websites that provide stock images.
I'm giving you a small list with stock images websites. Usually you have to pay for them but if you look carefully every website has a small list with free stocks. Use them, ok?
and of course deviantART.com
This should be enough for you but if you still like to use Google that much just type in "stock images" and check all the websites that come up.
deviantART about stock images
FAQ #8: What are violations of the deviantART copyright policy?
FAQ #157: Can I use things created by other people in my submissions?
FAQ #193: How do I prove that I had permission to use someone's work?
FAQ #257: What sort of permission do I need to use someone else's work?
FAQ #217: What are "Stock and Resources" and can I use them in my submissions?
For any other questions, just ask! No one will kill you for asking a question!