Image Searching & Copyright: Day 3

Why You Should Care and What You Should Do About It

Day Three: Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making media easier to share and use. They provide the public with free copyright licenses that give creators a standardized way to describe how they will allow their works to be used. If an image has a Creative Commons license, odds are you can use it!

Types of Creative Commons Licenses

There are six main types of Creative Commons licenses.


All six types allow you to use the image. Some types allow you to change or modify the image and some don't.


For ALL types, you MUST give credit to the original creator of the image!


Allows Either Commercial or Non-Commercial Use of the Image


Allows Only Non-Commercial Use of the Image


Allows You to Change or Modify the Image


Does Not Allow You To Change or Modify the Image

How to Give Credit

If you use an image with a Creative Commons license, you must give the original creator credit for that image. Ideally, attributions should include the following information:


  1. Title of the image
  2. Author of the image
  3. Source of the image (that is, where did you find this image?)
  4. The license deed


If you're creating something on the internet, please include links to all of these things! If not, plain text is fine.

Example of an image and attribution:

Big image
"Sleeping" by halfrain is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.


Notice that you can fit the entire attribution in one small line of text! The attribution contains all of the following information:


TITLE: Sleeping

AUTHOR: halfrain (linked back to Flickr profile)

SOURCE: Flickr (found in the link when you click on the title)

LICENSE: Creative Commons Share-Alike (linked back to the license page)

Where to Find CC Images

There are several places on the web where you can find Creative Commons images:



  1. Google Image search using the Usage Rights filter. (See Day Two for more info!)
  2. Flickr using the Creative Commons filter. (Will be explained in Day Four!)
  3. Creative Commons Search
  4. Wikimedia Commons -- This site tells you what license each image is under.
  5. Imagebase
  6. Wylio
  7. Animal Photos -- This site also gives you the attribution.
  8. EduPick Graphical Resources
  9. Photo Pin -- This site also gives you the attribution.

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