How to Find Creative Commons Images Online and Cite Them Right

How to Find Creative Commons Images Online and Cite Them Right

Creative Commons or CC is a non-profit association created to expand the range of creative works accessible for others to share images legally. The association has released a few copyright-licenses known as CC licenses which are free of charge. The CC licenses let artists to express which rights they reserve and exactly which rights they waive for other creators.

In this article, we will present you the simplest way to get started in your use of Creative Commons images, but first, let’s see why should you use these photos?

As you create, blog or share online, you will want to find some great photos to share with your blog posts or articles. Unless you are completely ready to take your own photos and use them in your social media updates, articles or blog posts, you should be looking for content online.

You can’t just download and use any photo you see on Google. You need to find stock websites and download creative commons images only. All you need to do when using these photos is abide by the license they assign to it.

There are so many great websites with Creative Commons Zero Licence or CC0 license. This means that you are free to use the photos and no one will ask for a permission or attribution.

Flickr is probably one of the best websites out there. On Flickr, you can find amazing photos for your articles, website content, and blog posts. It is really easy to find what you are looking for, download it, cite it properly, and use it for your own project.

Open their official website, enter the keywords or the search terms in the window and click “enter” to pull up the results. Once the page displays the photos, scroll down and click the drop-down menu “Any license”. You can click that menu and select the option that says “All creative commons”. After this, the search results will reload and you will be able to see the photos that have been assigned a CC license by their author. Find the photo that works best for you. You can see who created the photo, “fave” the photo, check the CC license, and finally download the photo.

As you can see, it is really simple to find and cite a photo properly. Now that you know how the process goes – go create and share something amazing!

Using Creative Commons Images Online on Social Media: Helpful Suggestions to Keep in Mind

 Social Media

Planning on using Creative Commons images online on social media platforms to promote or advertise? Here are a few helpful suggestions to keep in mind!

 We assume that you already know this – any social media, article or blog post should have a photo with them. So, unless you are a professional photographer or you have the budget to hire one, you probably don’t have a lot of high-resolution photos at your disposal. You probably know that you can’t just download photos from Google as you may face serious consequences. So, what can you do? Luckily for you and for all those who are looking for a solution to this problem, there is a growing body of free photos online that businesses can take advantage of to promote their new products or their brand. Read more about using photographs for your online projects. 

These photos are known as Creative Commons.

For small business owners it is highly recommended to look for photos released under a commercial CC license or Creative Commons license. This means that you can use the photo without any limitations. There are 4 Creative Commons licenses that allow small businesses to use these photos on their social media platforms, websites or blogs, but before you do that, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Creative Commons Zero License: There is no need to cite the author, however, it is highly recommended to cite the photo’s source.
  • Creative Commons BY License: It is obligatory to cite the photo’s source.
  • Creative Commons BY-SA License: It is obligatory to cite the photo’s source and protect your work.
  • Creative Commons BY-ND License: You can’t adjust the photo and you must cite the photo’s source.

If you are planning to use Creative Commons images online on social media you should avoid photos with trademarked symbols or logos. Trademark protects photos that represent an individual or brand. Also, you can’t suggest or state that a photo you use under Creative Commons is yours, even if it is under Creative Commons license. You can’t state a copyright on a photo that is protected under CC0 license. And, most importantly, you should always cite a photo’s source even if you don’t have to. This significantly improves your credibility, as well as, the credibility of the author.

Some of the best sources of Creative Commons images online are Wikimedia Commons, Unsplash, and PDpics.

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