Using Creative Commons Images from Flickr
Are you looking for an image to go with a PowerPoint Presentation, a handout, a Web page, or a blog post? Thanks to photo-sharing sites like Flickr task of creating large image galleries has now been crowd-sourced. On Flickr, many people upload and share their photos and then choose what rights they wish to retain for their work. Some of these people may decide that sharing and exposure of their work is more important than monetary gain. You benefit by being searching Flickr for these images, using them in your work, and crediting the original creator. The creator benefits by having his or her work seen by more people.
Searching Flickr for Creative Commons Images
- Go to http://www.flickr.com/
- Enter search terms into the textbox and click the Search button. Thumbails of all images that meet your search criteria appear, including those with more restrictive copyrights.
- Click the Advanced Search link. The Advanced Search page will appear.
- Under the creative commons section, make the following selections:
- Check Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content.
- If you are using the images in a for-profit project, check Find content to use commercially. (If unsure, check this just to be safe.)
- If you plan on cropping, editing, retouching, or modifying the images in any way, check Find content to modify, adapt, or build upon. (If unsure, check this just to be safe.)
- Click the Search button. Thumbails of all images that meet your search criteria and are licensed for sharing appear.
- Select the image you wish to include in your work and click on the thumbnail.
- Verify the licensing of the image:
- Find the Addtional Information section on the righthand side.
- Open the Some rights reserved link in a new tab to view the specific details regarding the licensing of the image.
- Copy the following information into a document so that you can credit the author:
- The URL of the current page.
- The title of the image, if given. (It will appear in a large heading just above the image.)
- The creator of the image. (It will appear as Uploaded on date by creatorusername in the upper-righthand corner.)
- Click on the All Sizes link. The Available Sizes page for the image will appear.
- Select a image size and click on its link to download it.
- When using the image do not forget to credit its creator. Example:
Photo Credit: Title, by Creator (URL), as in
Photo Credit: The circle (of laptops) is complete. We are those guys. #eduweb by opacity (http://www.flickr.com/photos/opacity/3742796009/in/set-72157621760200034/)
Advice for Using Images from Flickr
- Periodically recheck the licenses of the images you used to make sure you can still use them. Sometimes creators may change their minds and decide they no longer wish to share their work. (See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/COM:FLICKRVIO#Flickrwashing:_is_the_work_original_with_the_uploader.2C_or_a_copyright_violation.3F)
- Avoid images that appear to be photographs of artwork, logos, posters, etc. The creator may not have the full rights they are granting you. (See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/COM:FLICKRVIO#Flickrwashing:_is_the_work_original_with_the_uploader.2C_or_a_copyright_violation.3F)
- Credit the original creator, even when you are not required to do so. There are many reasons for doing this. First, by crediting creators is a courtesy and it encourages more people to share their work. Second, it gets you in the habit of crediting authors so that you don't forget to do so when your required to credit them. Finally, you don't have to worry about going back and crediting a creator he or she changes it to requirement later.