The short answer to this question is NO. The exception is – unless you get permission or unless the picture is clearly marked that it is NOT copyright protected.
Some pictures are available to the public under such license arrangements as Wikimedia Commons. There are also many photo stockists such as Shutterstock, Fotolia that provide royalty free images. This does not mean the photos are free but it does mean that the photos can be used in multiple places and for multiple purposes without having to pay commission each time the photo is being used.
If you are using Microsoft or Corel products then you also have available to you a broad range of free images you can use for your website and also for your general office and personal documents and presentations.
Other sites that offer free photos:
- Flickrkr- check carefully though to make sure the photo is not copyright protected
- Facebook – pictures on Facebook can be protected by copyright when they are uploaded. If not protected then they can be used but it is recommended always to check with the person to be sure.
- Pinterest Great Nonprofit Photos
- Pinterest – great for getting ideas and sourcing photos. Once you find something you like then just check the photo’s copyright or the owner.