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Using free CSS templates - Copyrights issues

If i use some free css template and leave a link in the bottom saying "designed by: XYZ" ... is that all i need to do regarding copyrights?

Plus, what if i pick a template and change it to my liking ... so much that it looks totally different from the original template .. should i still give that link in the bottom?

Also, what's with using images at your website (in header or elsewhere) ... have heard about corbis and getty recently ... is it safe to google for some image and then use it on your website ... if not then what are the safe options?
What you are allowed and not allowed to do is up to the copyright holder to decide. If the template is using some licence you should take a look at it.
If you change the template, to the point that it doesn't look like the original one, I would suggest that you leave some credits. Especially if you're going to use the code that cam with the template. Though, that's not really required, but do it as a sign of respect to the original designer and coder.

Might as well read the license for the template, if it comes with one. Smile
As far as the photos are concerned, Corbis and Getty are two giants in the stock photo market. They actively recruit professional photographers and have high standards for submissions. This is the most expensive option, too. If you have the money, that's a great way to go.

For cheaper alternatives, you can look to iStockphoto or Fotolia. While anyone can submit photos for inclusion in their library, they definitely have lower standards. This isn't to say they don't have good photos, on the contrary, they have many good ones. Its up to you to sort through it, though. I like both. iStockphoto is probably the most popular, but is also a bit more expensive. With both of these, you pre-buy credits that you can use towards photo purchases. Again, iStockphoto is more expensive (both in the cost to buy a credit and number of credits to buy a photo), but sometimes have a better selection. Don't count Fotolia out though. They recently introduced a subscription service which is a good deal if you buy lots of photos.

If you're looking for free photos, Fotolia has a couple that it offers, but these are usually the dregs of their library and is barely worth even looking at. The place to go for free photos is stock.xchng. They have a fairly wide selection and it is amazing at what you can find here. Just be sure to read the license before you do anything with it. Usually, putting it on your website is fine, but you need to ask before putting it in a template design you want to sell (like template websites, t-shirts, mugs, etc.)

As far as Google images, I try to avoid these as they do not explicitly give you permission to use their images. You can certainly ask, but it is just safer to go with something like Stock.xchng. By the way, if you do use it, please contribute to the free library with your own photos!

Let me know if you have any questions...

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