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The Savvy Creative: Images, Design, and Ethics for the Web: Finding & Using Images

Stated Licenses (Creative Commons & Public Domain Images)

Google Images search with arrow pointing to Search Tools button

  • Not filtered by license - Results will include images that are protected under copyright (All Rights Reserved). They may be usable under Fair Use with proper attribution, but we recommend that you select another option. 
  • Reuse - Results will be Creative Commons or public domain images that allow you to reuse them. Look for the individual license to know what specifically you need to do to reuse the image. Alt. term: free to use or share.
  • Modification - You can change these images however you would like. Include adding borders, making collages, etc
  • Noncommercial use  - You cannot use these images for commercial purposes. 

Flickr Advanced search Creative Commons options


WHEN SEARCHING, TWO THINGS TO NOTE:

  • If you re-enter a search in the top box of Flickr, it sometimes loses your Creative Commons limiter. You can reset it by selecting Creative Commons from the License drop-down list.
  • Results are ranked by relevance. You can change this to see "Interesting" photos that have been viewed, tagged, commented on, and favorited most.

Flickr results page limiters


FINDING A FLICKR IMAGE LICENSE:

Key information underneath the photo tells you who its creator is, how many times the photo has been viewed, and any provided details about the type of photograph or camera used. On the far right, you will see three icons. The second icon (arrow pointing right) allows you to share the photo and gives a direct url back to the image. The third icon (arrow pointing down) allows you to select a size and download the photo.

Under these icons, you'll see the date the photo was taken. Directly underneath is the photo's license. You can click on the hyperlink to see the actual Creative Commons license and specific details about requirements for reuse.

Options beneath a Flickr image show number of views, date taken, license, and download information

FINDING A WIKIMEDIA IMAGE:

  • Browse through categories or use the search feature at the top of the page. Images are nested in categories and folders; if you don't appreciate their search interface, remember that Google Image searches will return items within Wikimedia Commons.

FINDING A LICENSE FOR A WIKIMEDIA IMAGE:

If you can get to the Image File page, you'll be set. You may have to click on "More Details about this File" to get to this page.

  • There are helpful options to the right of the image on this page. You can download the file and get information about how to reuse the file in various ways. License information, image url, and author information is provided.

Wikimedia Commons image file page

  • License information is provided in an easier way if you continue to scroll down on this page. There will be a section labeled "License" that gives an explanation of the image license and links to additional information too.

Wikimedia commons image license

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Attributing Images

FOR CREATIVE COMMONS IMAGES:

Your attribution should follow this format, which adheres to Creative Commons best practices.

Title of image/video [linked to original image] by Author [linked to profile page] under License [linked to license deed].


FOR PUBLIC DOMAIN IMAGES:

Your attribution should follow this format:

Title of work [linked to original image] by AuthorDate (if known, or n.d. if not known). Public Domain.

Reverse Image Search

CONTACT

Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937
CAT: 317-940-8575

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