March 8, 2013

Legal images for blogs

We have received a number of queries in response to our earlier posts, especially the ones  on image aspects for blogs  in which we had specifically advised bloggers to use  images from the web with the owner’s permission only. In the present post, we tell you a very effective way of finding  freely usable images on the web and using them legally.

Most bloggers know about Creative Commons –  a non-profit organization that ‘enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools’. They have a search facility for finding images [and also text, music and multi-media] – images that you can ‘share, use and re-mix’. Click here to go to the CC search page. On the top right, they have a big search box followed by two check-boxes for the type of content you want to search.

Once you click on an image search [e.g Flickr], you are taken to a search result page of Flickr with images filtered according to the check pox you clicked. Now click on a photo.  On the result page, you will have details of the image, including copyright information.

Google’s advanced image search also has the facility to search images according to CC licence. Go to this Google image search page, type the search keyword and click on the ‘usage rights’ filter at the end of the search page, select your option  – and you have all the images according to the usage right you chose!

But searching a usable image is only the first step. You must ensure that what Google / Creative Commons say is correct, because the onus on using the image correctly is on you and not Google or any other agency listing images for you. So, go to the image and look for licence terms, andfollow them  before using the image.  

Wikimedia Commons is great storehouse of visual content that is free to use.  Moreover, no licence – even attribution – is required for using most of the images available on this platform. Still, look at the image details before using it.

Update: ITB also has a set of images that bloggers can use freely.