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How to Find and Use Images that are Creative Commons Licensed

How to Find and Use Images that are Creative Commons Licensed

Feeding Your Content with Images

After a short time of creating social media content and/or blogging for your real estate website, you probably Finding Imagesbecame aware of the difficulty of creating enough images to feed the need for eye candy that quality blogging requires. People love pictures; pictures draw them in to your content. But how do you keep it up? Here’s how to find and use images that are Creative Commons licensed, so you can feed the blog without violating copyright laws.

[image courtesy of Jana Reifegerste on Flickr]

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure which allows for the sharing of creative work and knowledge through free legal tools. If someone wants to give people the right to share, use, and even build upon a work that they have created, in the case of our interests, a photo or image, they can publish it under a Creative Commons license. Use of any image published under a CC license protects the people who use the image from any copyright infringement, as long as they stick to the guidelines the owner of the image has established.

Creative Commons Licenses

CC licences are not an alternative to copyright, they work along side copyright laws. There are various licenses with different guidelines, giving permission to users  to use and share creative work. If you are looking for images that you can legally use in your blog posts, there are a huge number of CC-licensed images, millions, that are available for free, as long as you stick to the terms of the license.

How to Find and Use Images that are Creative Commons Licensed

Here’s How it Works:

  • Go to the Creative Commons websitehttp://search.creativecommons.org/
  • Enter your search query in the search box
  • Check or uncheck the boxes: use for commercial purposes, modify, adapt or build upon
  • Choose from the 13 places to find CC-licensed work, in our case we want to look for images in Flickr, Fotopedia, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library, Wikimedia Commons, and Pixabay
  • When you find an image you want to use, click on it to get to the website where it is hosted. Look for the type of license that accompanies the image. Read the licensing terms and do accordingly. If the image can be used as is, but not modified, then abide by the rules.
  • Add the image to your blog post, either by an embed code, or by copying and pasting the html code, or using the image link (I prefer to do this when I can. This way, the image doesn’t get added to the media file on my site.) After 10 years of blogging, I’ve collected too many images in my media file.
  • Give attribution. Notice in the description of the various licenses, that in all cases, the creator of the image requires attribution. Sometimes, they want to be notified that you are using the image. I always let the creator know what I’m using it for when I can. Usually attribution is a link back to their site, or their profile on the site where the image is hosted.

Other Methods of Finding CC Licensed Images

You can do a (Google) search for a particular term in “images”. When the search results show up, click the “tools” tab at the top, then click “usage rights” and pick one of the drop-down items, “labeled for reuse with modification”, or “labeled for reuse”. It’s very easy to click on the image you want to use, go to the website, right-click and hit “copy image address”. This will give you the link of the image which you can add to your website. You can also download the image and upload it to your website’s media file if you plan to use it more than once. Be sure to check the website for rules on attribution.

Various Creative Commons Licenses

  • Attribution – CC BY:  Users can distribute, modify and build upon your work, commercially or non-commercially, as long as they credit the creator. Recommended for the maximum dissemination of a work.
  • Attribution-NoDerivs – CC BY-ND:  Users can redistribute, commercial and non-commercial, but it cannot be changed. Credit must be given to the creator.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike – CC BY-NC-SA:  Users can modify and build upon a work non-commercially, and credit must be given to the creator. User must also license their modified work under the identical terms.
  • Attribution-ShareAlike – CC BY-SA: Free and open source. This license is used by Wikipedia.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial – CC BY-NY: Users can modify and build on a work, must give credit, and must be non-commercial. They don’t have to license their own modified work on the same terms.
  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs – CC BY-NC-ND: The most restrictive, users can distribute, but cannot use the work commercially, and must credit owner.

How to Be A Gracious Borrower

The values and culture behind the Creative Commons community is that of open source and sharing. Many creators understand how hard it is to keep creating content that is fresh. We all appreciate a little help. The other aspect of sharing your content with attribution is that it gets your content out in front of more people and it gets traffic to your website or profile, while reciprocating the same to the original creator.

Being a gracious borrower is honoring the generosity of creators. By abiding by the standards of the particular CC-license, by giving attribution, and by letting creators know how you are using their content and showing appreciation, you generate good will and promote the continuance of the sharing community.

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