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More on Finding and Using "Free" Images

From the online suggestion form: "It would be nice to hear a discussion about downloading images (from the web) to be used on library websites, etc. Only some of them may be copyright free." I agree—it would be nice to discuss that, because we keep finding new sources to share.

letters in stone
letters in stone by myfear,
on Flickr © 2004
Kerri and I tend to be creatures of habit. She loves finding free images with Wylio, and I keep going back to MorgueFile and Stock.xchng. Here are a few other sources that we've heard of recently and have been meaning to try (YMMV):

As you're searching, be aware that many free image sites are supported by ads—for images you have to pay for. All images are protected by copyright (unless enough time has passed for the image to have entered the public domain), and even "free" images may have strings attached.

If an image is intended for re-use, it's common for a copyright license to be associated with it specifying how it can be used. Many creators of free images use Creative Commons licenses. Creative Commons is a nonprofit that provides 6 different types of copyright licenses. All Creative Commons copyright-licensed images require attribution, and some may place additional limitations on use. (There is another type of Creative Commons tool called CC0, which allows creators to waive their copyright, but it is used less than Creative Commons copyright licenses.)

If you're having trouble finding a copyright license, sometimes image-search sites hide blanket licenses under labels like "Terms of Use," "About," or "FAQ." When in doubt, getting permission directly from the creator for your use of an image will always keep you on the right side of copyright law.

Thanks to Carol at Spring Green for suggesting this topic!


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