If you use images on your website or blog, I am sure at some point you have hit the barrier of copyright images. I can bet you have also either ended up paying for stock images or wasted the day searching for stock images with no restrictions – very frustrating.
As if the copyright laws are not confusing enough there is also the added barrier of understanding what a Creative Commons license (also known as CC) is and how to use it. CC is one of several public copyright licenses that enables the free distribution of copyrighted work – but of course there are restrictions.
If you own a website or post regularly on a blog and are happy to give attribution to the author/creator of an image you would like to use, then the CC license will give you loads of images to choose from. CC is a little tricky to get your head round and I hope this post will give you a better understanding of how the licensing works.
Learn The Jargon
When you find that perfect image you want to use, it is firstly vital that you understand if you can use it, can it be modified and do you need to give credit. It is not as complicated as it sounds, as CC has four sets of licensing terms.
Attribution (by) – You must credit the original author/creator.
Non Commercial (nc) – Basic and to the point – you cannot use the image for commercial purposes.
No Derivatives (nd) – The image must not be modified in any shape or form.
Share-alike (sa) – any derivative works must be licensed under the same Creative Commons License.
Now that you understand the jargon, you need to realise that these can be mixed and combined to produce the variety of CC licenses available and a lot of websites tend to use just abbreviation or symbols to specify how their work is licensed, therefore it is useful to learn them.
Here are some examples:
by-nd – Attribution + No Derivatives
by-sa Attribution + Share-alike
No Derivatives and Share-alike will never be seen together as if you are not allowed to modify the image then it will not need to be relicensed under the same CC License.
Where Can You Get Images?
If you search the internet there are loads of different websites that will give you access to CC licensing material, for images you could look at Flickr, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library and Pixabay just to name a few.
I hope you found this article useful in your mission to find the right image! If you would like any additional information on CC Licensing feel free to visit their website www.creativecommons.org.
Digital Marketing Manager
The Internet Marketing Academy
(Image by Alf Bonillo)