Dear Lifehacker, I'm trying to start my own blog but am finding it difficult to find images I can use. Any ideas? Thanks, Picture Imperfect
While it's tempting to grab any image online that takes your fancy, you could be violating the rights of the author and/or company that originally produced it. (In most cases, nobody is going to notice or care, but that doesn't make it any less illegal.)
This is where a Creative Commons (CC) license can help: this is one of several public copyright licenses that allows copyrighted media to be distributed and shared freely.
If you decide to respect your fellow artists and play by the rules, there are still plenty of readily available images that fall under the above category. Indeed, we sourced this article's photo from Flickr and it only took a few seconds to find something that was relevant and reusable.
Some of the most popular sites for free website images include the aforementioned Flickr (click on Advanced Search and select "creative commons"), Wikimedia Commons, the creative commons aggregation website CC Search and Google Image (to remove copyrighted material from Google Image, head to Advanced Search and adjust the usage rights filter to the appropriate setting).
You can also download apps specifically designed to provide creative commons licensed images such as CCFinder. Many people who share their own pictures on Twitter or Instagram will also be happy for you to republish them — all you need to do is get permission via a polite email or message.
The important thing is to make sure you give proper attribution to the author in the manner requested. This flowchart will give you an idea of how to credit rights holders under the various copyright licences out there.
If any bloggers have additional suggestions of their own, let PI know in the comments section below.
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