Finding and Using Images Respectfully

  1. Find a website that allows you to re-use artists' work with their permission.
    • Important vocab words are "Public Domain", "Attribution", "Creative Commons", and "GNU"
      • If you find "public domain" sources, you don't need to give credit (though you may need to record the website for your teacher)
      • If you find sources that ask for "attribution", you'll just need to make sure the artist's name or screen name is displayed on a credits page or near the image itself
      • "Creative Commons" is a licensing organization. If you see something labeled "CC", click on the button to find out more about under what terms the artist is releasing his or her work.
      • "GNU" is a license. It will usually be accompanied by some information that will explain how you can use the image.
    • Some of these include the following:
      • -- this site lets you use an author's work without giving credit (attribution), but it would be good to do so
      • Stockxchange -- Set the "Restricted Use" area in Advanced search to "No" -- this means there are no restrictions beyond giving credit (attribution) to the artist
      • Wikimedia Commons -- the pictures from Wikipedia are stored here, with detailed information on whether the photo needs a credit line (attribution) or not
    • But BEWARE!! Many of these sites are sponsored by for-profit sites, so if you see that you've ended up on iStockPhoto or Dreamstime, you should not use those images without paying for them. These are "royalty free" websites. "Royalty free" doesn't mean "free." It means "you only have to pay once" and then you can use the image as many times as you may wish.

  2. But can't I use Google?
    • Well, sort of. But only in a specific way, and one that might make things a bit tougher for you in the long run.
      • It starts by using the Advanced Search portion of Google. Put in your search term. Then Click on the "+Date, Usage Rights ..." button at the bottom.
      • Select the usage terms you need. For this project, I'd suggest "free to use or share" (check out Google's description here).
      • Click "Advanced Search", which will give you a list of pictures and websites. Choose "Images" to see the images.
    • This is where it can get messy.
      • A bunch of tiled images will display. You can click on any one of these. Some will be blocked. Others will not.
      • When you get an image that will display, you will need to hunt around on the site to see what the license for that image entails. Here's an example from the search "Elephant"
        • I searched for "Elephant" and found this picture: external image elephant-thumb.jpg
        • When I opened the site up to look for more details, this is the site I found.
        • I scrolled around a bit until I saw something that mentioned something about a license. I saw something that mentioned Creative Commons. It was a little bookmark like this one: external image somerights20.gif
        • I clicked on it and was sent to the license information , which told me that I can use this picture in my project if I wish, so long as I give credit to the author.
        • I then needed to poke around the website for an author. The closest information I could come by is that it's probably a guy named Chris who has a website called So, I would probably write "Chris from" as my citation on this one.
      • If you can't find the author, you'll need to check with a partner or your teacher.
      • IF YOU CHANGE YOUR SEARCH, YOU MUST GO BACK TO "Advanced Search"!!! If you attempt to change search terms using the search box at the top, you'll be pushed back into an "open" search, with no easy way to know whether the pictures are ethically available for use or not.
    • So, can you use Google? That's up to your teacher. You may find pictures you like but it may take more time than you first think.