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With so many cute cat photos on the Internet, it's tempting to just grab one and use it on your website. But what are the rules and where can you get good public domain or Creative Commons images to spice up your website?
With the rise of visual social media (like Pinterest and Instagram), a clear trend in digital communications is more images and fewer words — even if you are communicating through your website or an email newsletter.
Without getting deep into the intricacies of U.S. copyright law, it is sometimes legally OK to use images you find on the web and often not. I like our article, Finding and Using Images from the Web, with its basic precepts:
We use Creative Commons licensing for our content on TechSoup because it promotes information sharing and innovative building upon creative works.
We want our content to be reusable for noncommercial purposes to have the maximum impact for charities and libraries, but we also want people who reuse our content give us credit or attribution.
Creative Commons has six different licenses that allow for the perfect amount of sharing. See our more complete explanation, Use Techsoup's Content for Free!
Attributions give credit where credit is due, and so we advocate for proper attribution to the creator of an image. Attributions usually can contain three parts, in this format:
Image (with a link to the original image URL): Creator name / License type (with a link)
Do you have some guidelines or advice for the images you use?
Image 1: Alastair Brown / CC BY-NC-ND
Image 2: Smileus / Shutterstock
Image 3: Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain
Image 4: LIUSHENGFILM / Shutterstock
Image 5: Creative Commons
Image 6: FeyginFoto / Shutterstock
How did you know that this is exactly the info I was looking for this week? This and your Feb. 2 blogpost about the Top 10 Sources for Free Images are SO helpful -- and saved me additional hours of trying to sort this stuff all out on my own. I work for a public library and we untrained, amateur graphics people need guidance on this sort of thing. Thank You!
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.