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- Everything on the Internet is NOT free to reuse
- Copyright protects digital items just as it does physical ones. However, in the digital environment it can be very difficult to see what copyright or license applies and even more difficult to track down a creator to ask for permission. So what can you do?
- Use media with stated licenses
- This includes Creative Commons and Public Domain; these works will be clearly labeled so that you understand what you need to do to edit or reuse them.
- See if your situation qualifies as "Fair Use"
- If you are using these materials in the classroom, as a student or instructor, your work may be subject to different guidelines. Remember, you will still need to provide citation information to give proper credit to your sources.
- Create your own media
- Thanks to technology, creating your own images and media is easier than ever before.
- Purchase the right to use items
- There are many sites where you can pay to be able to use images, videos, etc. We recommend pursuing the other three options first!
Stated Licenses (Creative Commons & Public Domain Images)
Click on the Search Tools button to see helpful limiters, including image size, color, type, time, etc.
- 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.
This link brings you to the Advanced Search page. Place your search term in the box, then scroll down and check the box to search "only within Creative-Commons licensed content." If you wish to make any changes to the image, you'll also want to check the "find content to modify, adapt, or build upon" box
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.
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.
Large collection of public domain and Creative Commons images, sounds, maps, and other media.
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.
- 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.
Creative Commons Search
Portal for searching various sites for Creative Commons images, audio, video, and other media. Select a site to begin your search; your currently selected site will be highlighted in light blue.
"FreeFoto.com is the largest collection of free photographs on the Internet (link back and attribution required)."
The Noun Project
Icons that can be used for free (with attribution), or you can pay if you do not want to provide attribution. Requires you to create an account
Huge variety of public domain images. Warning: the first row of images in any search are sponsored results from Shutterstock and are not in the public domain.
The images found in the sites below can be used in any way, even without attribution.
- Openclipart - A collection of free clip art images, which can be used without restriction.
- clker - Free clip art and other images.
- Pixabay - Free photos and images.
- Flickr Commons - Images from archives that are free of known copyright restrictions. Be sure to use the search located halfway through the page, rather than the main Flickr search engine. You can also browse through the images at New Old Stock.
- Kaboompicks - Free stock photos.
- Public Domain Archive - Free stock photos.
- morguefile - Free stock photos. Be sure to only use images found under the "morgueFile" tab in search results.
- StockPhotosForFree - Free stock photos. Requires you to create an account.
- Freerange - Free stock photos. Requires you to create an account.
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 Author, Date (if known, or n.d. if not known). Public Domain.
The sixth edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association does not have guidelines for images, artwork, sculpture, photographs, etc. However, here are some guidelines from the APA Style Blog:
SOCIAL MEDIA PHOTO, GRAPHIC, OR PHOTO ALBUM
Creator, A. (Date Posted). Caption text [Medium]. Retrieved from http://website.url
- If no caption is provided, place a description of the image in brackets in its place.
- If you are are citing a photo album, replace the caption text with the title of the album. Italicize the title.
VISUAL ART PIECE
Arist, A. (Year Created). Title of work [Medium]. Location of work: Institution housing work.
- If you are viewing the piece online, leave off the location information for the piece. Instead, end your citation entry with "Retrieved from http://website.url"
Edit or Create your Own Images
A free photo editor and collage making tool. Also has an app version.
Edit images or create collages. Must create a free account. Additional features available for a fee.
Edit photos, create collages, and more. Also available as an app.
The Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary
"The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives."
Adobe Photoshope is available on several Butler computers (click the link to learn more. It also can be purchased at a Butler discount price for personal use.
"GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages."
"Utilizing cloud computing to provide a suite of image processing tools ranging from basic cropping to HDR (High Dynamic Range) processing, Fotor has made professional-level photo editing accessible to everyday users through a clean, intuitive interface and workflow."
A user-friendly tool that allows you to create and export infographics. You will need to create a free log-in.
Create infographics and data visualizations. Must create a free account first.
Limited features if you sign up for a free account. They do have special pricing for Education.
Allows you to create word clouds with more customization options, including shapes and colors. Does not require you to create an account.
Allows you to make word clouds without creating an account - just click Create.