Do you know which images from the Internet you can reuse and which you can’t? Do you know Creative Commons? There is a misconception that all the images you find on the net, just because they are on the Internet, are free and can be used as you want and when you want. But it is not so because not all images are free of rights or all images that do not have rights, can be used freely.
There are a lot of places that you can use to find Creative Commons images:
- CC Search has a searchable database of Creative Commons images.
- Sites like Pixabay and Jumpstory have large directories and listings of Creative Commons images.
- CC Digital Content is a great photo style blog site that has fewer images, but has curated the best so you don’t have to sort through as many lousy images online. You can read blog posts on various types of images and choose the best ones.
The images that you find on the net can have different types of licenses of use depending on the restrictions on their use that their author has marked:
- Fully protected: this means that they have all rights reserved and means that you cannot make any use of them without the consent of their owner or author. You cannot even use them partially.
- Not protected at all: they are public domain, when the author decides that his photos are public domain and that anyone can use them, or that after 70 years, if the author has not expressed his wish to protect the use of that image, it would become public domain after his death.
- With some restrictions of use: copy permitted or “Copyleft”, when the image can be used in certain circumstances or for certain uses but maintains some restrictions of use.
What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization, which aims to promote culture, cooperation and development of all works on the Internet, but protecting them at the same time using several types of “Copyleft” licenses.
The fact that a work has a Creative Commons license does not mean that it does not have copyright and that the rights of its author are not protected. The images that have a Creative Commons license can be used under certain circumstances and as long as the conditions established by the author are respected. These conditions and the pictogram that represent them and that you can find not only in an image, but in any work that has the Creative Commons license are all images that are under Creative Commons license will carry the pictogram of the two Cs and, in addition, one or more of the previous pictograms that describe exactly the conditions of use that the author wants to attribute to his image.
In this video we can see a good summary of what Creative Common is each image under Creative Commons license will incorporate a legal text with the specifications of use. It will also have a summary understandable to the rest of us non-lawyer humans and finally a “machine-readable” version of the license: a summary of the key rights and obligations written in a format that computer systems and search engines can understand, to make it easy to find on the web.
Where to find Creative Commons images?
Before using content you find on the web, I recommend that you verify that its license is legitimate and that you check the reuse conditions stated in its license. Keep in mind that the most common in this type of licenses is that, at least, the author asks to be recognized as the creator.
When you search for an image on Google, the results that appear may be copyrighted or they may be Creative Commons. To make sure that the image is only free or only has some restricted usage rights, you should perform an advanced search and filter by license type.
In addition to Google, to search for Creative Commons images you can use Flickr, which also has a search engine for images by license type. Once you have selected the photo on Flickr, you can choose the size, and check the type of license it has.
For other types of content, for example for records you can use Jamendo, and for media in general in Spinxpress. Wikimedia Commons, is the multimedia repository of Wikipedia and is one of the main users of this type of license.
Have you ever used Creative Commons licensed images? Did you know how to recognize royalty-free images from those that are not? With this post I hope to have cleared up some doubts about which images you can use. If you need more information about this or any other related topic, do not hesitate to contact us. It will be a pleasure to help you.