Don Crowther
Don Crowther

Proven Strategies and Techniques To Build YOUR Business

Proven Strategies and Techniques To Build YOUR Business

Need a quick picture for a blog post, web page or anything else? If you’re like most people, you jump into Google Images and grab a great shot from there.

How to find free creative commons pictures online

Unfortunately, that puts you at huge risk of lawsuit, because, unless someone specifically grants rights to you to use a given image, every picture taken in the United States (and in most other countries) is copyrighted, and the property of the person who took that picture. (By the way, this includes pictures taken in photo studios, so that class picture of you [yes, even though you paid for it] isn’t yours – I know, something’s really wrong there, but that’s the law!)

Let me stress something here – this is serious, you really can get sued, and if the person has taken the right steps in copyrighting their picture, you could have to not only pay them a huge amount for stealing their image, you could also be charged damages, which could be serious amounts of money!

How do you get around this? You could:

  1. Laboriously negotiate payment for rights with the photographer
  2. Go to sites that sell rights for pictures and pay them for the images that you use (like stock photography sites)
  3. Use creative commons-licensed content and follow the restrictions specifically placed on each particular image.

UPDATE: There’s now another option. Getty Images now allows you to post 35 million of their pictures to your blog posts free, as long as you use them for non-commercial purposes. Learn more here.

Of these three options, the cheapest is using creative-commons licensed images. Creative Commons is a non-profit system that offers an alternative to full copyright. Basically, it’s a special licensing system that allows people to use content without the hassles of negotiation, licensing and fees. It’s worth spending a few minutes studying the different options available through Creative Commons at http://www.creativecommons.org

One of my favorite places to find Creative Commons-licensed (CC) images is www.flickr.com because Flickr has tons of CC images and they make it easy to find images that carry those licenses.

Here’s how to find those images:

1. Start by going to Flickr’s advanced search function

2. Fill in your search terms at the top then drop down on the page to the creative commons section and indicate what you plan to do with the image. You’ll see three options there:

creative commons search

Checking the first box restricts your search to show only pictures that are creative-commons licensed. That’s important, because you don’t want to waste your time falling in love with images that you can’t use because they aren’t licensed.

The other two boxes are optional. If your blog earns you any money at all (whether through advertising, selling something, or even if it is just part of a money-making operation,) you should check the second box “find content to use commercially.” Otherwise, you’re still at risk of someone claiming your usage of their image was commercial, and you get caught in an argument that can get expensive.

If you plan to alter the image, by using it as a part of another image, putting a stripe across it with your url inside, changing the colors, etc., you should also check the second box to “find content to modify, adapt, or build upon.”

Boxes checked? Let’s go to step 3, assuming that I’m looking for images of puppies. Cool! 29,780 results.

3. Find an image that you love and click on it to find out more about that image
Here’s a delightful little Maltese Shihtzu puppy that reaches out and grabs your heart. Let’s check it out

puppies pictures

4. Flickr additional informationOnce you get to the page, you ignore everything else that it says about the image, and immediately drop down to the bottom right corner to the Additional Information section and check on the Some rights reserved link. Again, you want to know the facts before you fall in love with the picture.

In this case, the license is Attribution 2.0 Generic, and dropping down you see that you are free to copy, distribute and transmit the work and to remix (adapt) it, provided that you give the rights owner attribution. That’s good. That means that you can basically do what you want with it, provided you give them credit.

So how do you give them credit? See that line that says Attribute this work? Simply grab the code in that box, put it on the page with the image, and you’re good to go. You can see how I’ve done that in the section at the bottom of this article where I say Photo Attribution:

Just be careful to follow the rules associated with each individual image. By checking the boxes for commerical usage and modification, you’re usually safe, with Flickr only showing you pictures that you can use.

The place where this can bite you is if you, over time, separate the picture from the attribution. So, avoid creating a folder of favorite images to which you turn to grab pictures any time you need them, unless you devise some kind of system of attaching the attribution statement to each image in that folder.

That’s it, simple, easy and quick. Just make sure you’re disciplined, and you’ll find generous people happily providing great images for you to use!

UPDATE: In addition to the above I recommend you check out another option: Getty Images now allows you to post 35 million of their pictures to your blog posts free, as long as you use them for non-commercial purposes. Learn more here.

Have other places you like to go to get Creative Commons images? Tell us about them in the comments section below!

Photo attribution:

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  1. Sharing a Youtube video on blog or web site (if the video can be embedded) is not a problem legally.
    My question is: What about if I take an image/photo of a video on Youtube (ex: screen shot) and share it on a blog or web site? Legally, is it ht e same as a Youtube video?

    Can anybody give their advice on that?

  2. Hey, just wondering if it’s ok to download images off the web merely for personal use, like to use for your desktop wallpaper. Absolutely, non-commercial, just for your computer and will not be uploaded on any form of webpage pr to print or otherwise. If not so how do I know which ones I can or can’t? Also I’m wondering about attribution. I see images licensed under creative commons to copy and use under proper attribution. Well do you have to attribute if you only download them. And if so, how? I realize this may sound like a dumb question, but I just want to make sure I cover all my bases. Thanks!

  3. To get your blog to show up appropriately on mobile devices you have two options. The best is to use a “responsive theme” meaning that the theme is set up to automatically display well on mobile devices. To do this you’ll likely have to change themes, just make sure the new theme you choose is responsive.

    The second is to use an app that converts your format to work well on mobile devices. One example is WPtouch.

    Hope this helps!

    Don

  4. Don – Good article and discussion!

    We also have a free option for blog and editorial pics: http://freephotocourse.com/free-images.html

    Our collection of free high-res pictures from our own photographers can be used on blogs and websites to help illustrate articles and editorial text. Our collection is small, but growing and the images are very nice. We do not sell our photos, so they are actually “FREE”.

    Categories include nature, landscape, action, animals, beaches, aircraft, agriculture, cityscapes and more. They can be used for editorial use, but are NOT for commercial use (ie. advertising, packaging, printing, design, etc – read the terms carefully before use).

    We require that publishers include a photo credit and link back to our site any time they use our images. Most of our pics are watermarked, but you can request a non-watermark image by email which we will consider depending on the use.

    Hope this is useful!

    1. There are a number of security plugins that you definitely should install. Google WordPress security and you’ll see a bunch of suggestions.

      Don

  5. Hi Don,

    It’s good info for me. I has question to you and I hope you will answer it. If I put more than 5 pictures/images from flickr’s CC different sources on 1 page of blog, how to place photo attribution ? Must I display 5 photo attribution’s link ? is there a simpler way ?

    Thanks for attention.

    1. Just place each attribution below each picture and you should be fine with however many you wish to publish. But yes, you will need to separately attribute each one.

      Don

  6. Hi Don,
    I’m just in the middle of a blog lunch using a video app,
    and this is my first comment for you and all i can say is
    “Great job” your CC by attribution was sensational info
    and really motivated me to work smarter and faster . . . .
    Thank again Don
    Kind regards Charles

  7. Hi Don,
    Thanks for info.I went to get picture and this is what it says” With the understanding that:

    Waiver — Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holder.
    Public Domain — Where the work or any of its elements is in the public domain under applicable law, that status is in no way affected by the license.
    Other Rights — In no way are any of the following rights affected by the license:
    Your fair dealing or fair use rights, or other applicable copyright exceptions and limitations;
    The author’s moral rights;
    Rights other persons may have either in the work itself or in how the work is used, such as publicity or privacy rights.
    Notice — For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear to others the licence terms of this work.

    So I am not sure if I can get it?

    1. It’s a bit confusing, isn’t it? :<) It appears that you can use the image if you give them attribution. I'd have to see the whole page to make a decision. Don

    1. I actually do very little usage of creative commons images because the attribution requirements don’t fit well into my image library system. So I don’t have experience using that site.
      Don

  8. Timely info Don! This is a major issue I face nearly everyday. Google images includes an advanced search setting allowing you to choose the license. Use type.

    This would also require the serious marketer to establish a system to catalogue images and attributions

  9. Hi Don, thanks for these great tips about Flickr. Wikimedia Commons works exactly the same, they have over 13M photos – do you have any experience with this or would you recommend Flickr anyway? Thanks

    1. These techniques would apply for each of the many different creative-commons based photo sites out there. Just be careful that you’re properly doing citations and that you aren’t penny-wise pound-foolish in getting low quality images when for a few pennies you can grab a quality one.

      Don

  10. After downloading the photo I import it into a Coreldraw file and type in the attribution link and photographer’s name (and anything else) and save it in a special folder under a recognizable name. You can then do things to the image and export it from there for uploading and you can keep the attribution details with the photo

  11. I took Don’s Social Profit Formula (TM) course and this article shows you how he thinks in a clear way. You can follow the easy steps above (as I just did and published a pic on my Facebook Page) and have a great photo while respecting the copyrights of others. So when Don uses his motto “Just go do this stuff!” he is not exaggerating. You can literally just go do this stuff! ; )

    1. There are different rules for products that you sell (like t-shirts, mugs, etc.) featuring pictures. The answer is probably no, but you will need to read the specific conditions set by the site and by the photographer. Better to check than to get sued later!
      Don

  12. Hello,

    My name is Myron and I found an image on flickr that I am able to use if I attribute it, but there is no code for me to select so how do I attribute it? It’s this photo [URL Removed]. What should I do?

    1. When people don’t tell you how to attribute, it’s usually good to attribute to the username and link back to the page that the image lives on. That way others can get to that image too.

  13. Thanks for this list!
    I can add http://www.picdrome.com, a growing Public Domain picture collection, free of copyright and licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication. All items are free to download for personal and commercial use, without restriction and are available in high definition. New photos are added on a daily basis.

  14. I have a question. If flickr is the site where we can use free and legal photos commercially for our blogs, Where can we find free and legal videos especially MUSIC VIDEOS that we can use commercially for our blogs? Can we use YOUTUBE videos? Is it legal and safe to use them for our blogs?

    1. You can embed YouTube videos in your blog legally. But be aware that YouTube will honor the poster’s request to block embedding, which will mean that any embedded YT videos you have in place may well go away without warning.
      I don’t know about legal music videos, that’s not my marketplace, so I don’t track it. Anybody else know about this?

  15. Hi Don,

    Great Article + VIdeo 🙂

    Here’s the major source that I use for getting photos (FREE commercially and personally)
    http://1photos.com

    Photographer’s Note: “All of my photos are free for corporate and personal use. Every image is free! 1photos.com”

    Something is telling me that all the pictures from this site can be found on Flickr under the “Creative Common License” 😉 but that’s just a theory 😛

    Yours,
    Chris Diamond

  16. I have a question and I hope Don can answer it. Can I follow this process and use the pictures for videos that I upload to Youtube?

    1. Conceivably yes, through I haven’t tried it yet, and don’t know how it would work with YouTube’s policies. Obviously, you will need to give credit for the pictures within the video itself some way.

      Don

  17. Thanks Don! You have saved me a lot of money! I have been buying pictures and it does get costly. Very helpful and valuable information on this post and on your whole blog! Pictures on a blog does make a difference to the readers. It gives them a visual of what you are talking about in your post. Since I have been using pictures I have more readers visiting my blog.

  18. Hi Don,
    Question/ Suggestion…If using the image on your blog, would it not be simpler, and cleaner looking to simply give the attribution by simply giving the picture itself a link URL back to the provider? You can also put the providers info in as Alternate Text. This keeps from having to “see” someone else’s URL plastered right there on your Post, while still providing the proper link back to them.

  19. Thanks for the information,
    It’s so valuable.
    And how is it that under puppy dog picture above
    there isn’t a link to the photographer’s page/ site?

    1. Go to the bottom of the page, and there it is. Nothing says that the link has to be right below the picture. It just has to be on the page.
      Don

  20. That’s an excellent addition to the Social Profit Formula.
    Would you know if it is OK to use that kind of CC “licensed” pictures to use in books (I mean books that will be sold, paper of PDF) ?
    Thanks a lot.
    Sophie

    1. Sophie,
      ALWAYS contact the person who created the image before committing to put it in your book. You are going to want to get written permission from them even if it has a CC license.

  21. Lots of great information here – thanks to everyone. Can anyone point me in the direction of similar sites where there is copyright-free and free music that can be used in the background of videos that I’m creating for my websites? Many thanks.

    1. Hi there,

      Jamendo is a great site for music that you can use under creative commons or use for commercial purposes – Like Flickr you do a specific search for either “use on website” or “commercial purposes” and they do have a lot of different types of music available for use.

      Enjoy
      Lisa 🙂

  22. Thanks Don, thats what I thought but just wanted to make sure. Do you know anything about free wordpress themes that you find through wordpress? Do we have to leave the credited link at the bottom and can we modify the layout, graphics, and stuff like CSS?

    Thanks for all your help.
    -Eric

  23. Hi Don, thanks for the post. Awesome stuff. What about Youtube videos? We can just embed them on our blog can’t we? From what I recall, anyone could embed them without any further attribution but I may be wrong. Let me know. Thanks

    -Eric

  24. Hi Don

    This is great information – I have been using photos from istockphotos.com and that gets expensive but I was concerned about licensing issues. Now I am armed with some great sources of content and the cool tool at imagecodr.com to create the attribution html – Thanks so much! – Wes

  25. Wow! I have learned so much from your tips Don and from all the great comments. “Free” can be very misleading if you are not aware of licensing and rights issues. I think most people are not trying to steal others’ photos, but are just unaware of the legal problems they may be creating. I am definitely going to check all my photos and make sure things are on the up and up.

    Karen, thanks for the great tip on using the tags function in properties as a way to organize photos and keep track of usage rights.

  26. Hi Don

    A great piece of advice. As an accountant getting into blogging and the internet generally I’m always looking for images to spice up my blogs.

    There are a lot of naive people who will just download an image and not know of the consequences.

    Thanks for the advice I’ll pass on to my clients

    Regards

    Nigel

  27. HI there,
    I like your program,but sorry to say that I am poor in computer because of my knowledge & age,trying to learn as soon as possible.any way thanks again
    With Regards,
    jawed..

  28. Thanks, Don, for this insightful info. I will include some of these tips in my “Getting Social’ blog on ChicagoNOW. I’ve started taking my own photos and saving them with taglines that I will turn into future blog posts. Example: big rock on top of little rock on a big rock…”Balancing Act.” I also asked a friend who’s a character actress to let me take some shots of her with different expressions, and she seemed thrilled. Before I post the photos, I’ll make sure she approves each expression, but here’s my question: do I need to have her sign a photo release form? And if so, can I create the form myself or do I need to hire a lawyer?

    I have another question related to editing images. A friend of mine believes that if you edit a Google image extensively, it can be considered copyright free. If you take a photo of a park bench, for example, and crop it, and change the background and colors, you can use it without attribution. It sounds risky to me, but I can understand why she believes that, with extreme edits, it’s hers. Anyone know the legal issues associated with this?

    1. Thanks for your comments.
      1. You should definitely get your model to sign a release form. You can find lots of samples online, some of which are available for usage.
      2. Your friend is wrong. Changing an image doesn’t make it yours. Obviously, a ton of changes makes it different than the original, but I’d be very careful with that. When in doubt, make sure you use an image for which you have rights.

  29. Don what do you recommend I do with older posts where I used graphics incorrectly?

    Thanks this was great, and I learned something I did not know. Thanks to everyone who shared sites, you are awesome

  30. Wow. Thanks Don for the great info. I once had on my site some copywrited material. Since that time I have been very much concerned about, ” FREE”, material.
    BTW, Got your link from Wish List Insider forum. Others like yor stuff also.

  31. Great Post Don, I have not used Flickr for photos in the past because I still don’t quite understand all the requirements I followed your instructions and I chose 2 different photos but each photo has the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported not the 2 like you mentioned in your video. What does that mean?

    Seems to me just best to pay for istock photos…then I know I’m safe!

    1. Stock photos are great – I use them all the time, and recommend them.

      You should be able to use the creative commons licenses you’re seeing. Unported is a term that refers to international licenses.

      Don

  32. Thanks for the great article Don. We are involved with pictures for our site, inviting people to submit their pictures is one aspect. We do get a number of folks who will just pull images from whereever on the web, so it does take ongoing vigilance.

    Love the new sources for pics too! Thanks again!

    Clarice

  33. Dan,
    Excellent post and great comments. Thanks so much. I’ve used flickr before and always put the attribution with the photo, but I like the Idea of putting the attribution at the bottom.

    Brian (a.k.a. Professor Homunculus at MathMojo.com )

  34. Thanks for a good article, Don. It is great to know that there is such an easy way to get pics into our articles. Don’t know if this is true, but I have read that one in five searches is for images! That means we really have to add pictures, otherwise we are losing out on a ton of traffic!

  35. Very glad I signed up to your newsletter Don! This is a particularly helpful blog post. Thank you so much! Great to know we have so many choices on where to obtain images that we can use without getting in trouble for it. I always wondered about this issue and, consequently, so far have pretty much just used images from a clip art collection I purchased quite awhile ago, or images of products I’m promoting through affiliate networks. Now I can let loose and start having some REAL fun finding other images for my sites – without fear of being sued!

    I do like Julieanne’s comment – using ones OWN photos would also be a great source of images. There is one caveat here though. I’m not a lawyer and can’t say for sure that the following is true – although it sounds logical – but I did read somewhere recently (can’t recall where) that if you do wish to use a photo that includes an identifiable face of any person, you must get that person’s permission, in writing, to use their image for any type of commercial purpose including, I believe, even relatives – even if you took the photo yourself.

    Best to you,

    Karen

    1. It’s not illegal to use photos that include the identifiable face of a person commercially without their written permission. It does, however, put you at risk of having legal action taken against you. 😉

  36. Hi Don, thanks — great video!

    I have another question — speaking of videos. There’s no way to put links within videos (youtube, etc.) – so if I use an image on YT, is it good enough to put the CC attribution link as part of the description (under the video) — that helps, but then when/if I embed the vid somewhere, I guess I should put the CC link under the vid wherever I embed the vid. If I do all that, is that good enough? (seeing as I cannot put links directly into the vid itself).

      1. Yes, generally speaking you can put clickable links into videos. The problem is that most video sharing sites will lose them when they convert your video. However for a credit or attribution, I don’t think it needs to be clickable. I generally put my credits at the end of a video, but were I to use a lot of other people’s material (unlikely) I could always overlay an acknowledgement at the bottom of the frame beforehand using PhotoShop or similar on a still image, or with a video editor. I’m just a guest here, but I can expand on how to embed clickable links in videos if asked.

        1. If you’re using images in a video that need attribution I believe it’s Ok to do it at the end of the video, similar to how you’d see credits in a hollywood movie scrolling through.

  37. I always prefer to use my own photos. However, when I don’t have a photo to use then I look for images in google images and properly acknowledge the source. Thank you very much for this blog post. Now I know an easier and legal way.

    I know that many photographers allow use of their photos as long as you ask permission and properly acknowledge them. A link back to their site is always highly appreciated.

  38. If you have a Word-press blog, you can use a plug-in called Photo Dropper. It’s unbelievably easy to use. Right from within your post, you can search Flicker (without even leaving your post) for a relevant picture. Photo Dropper drops it in where you want it, complete with the credit to the photo’s creator below the image. You can set it up to ONLY select images that you have permission to use on a commercial site. So there is never any chance of getting into legal problems.

    Thanks Don, for this useful post. And thanks to everyone who added other links. I have them all saved now, and I’m sure I will be putting them to good use.

    Much appreciated!

    Cancer Cure Rick.

  39. Hi Don,

    Great post. As a contribution to the discussion, I usually download hi-res pics from http://www.photoxpress.com. There are thousands of free photos for use. There are also premium pics for sale but I the free ones are quite good that I don’t have resort to paid images.

    Btw, I’m not connected in any way with photoxpress, it’s just that I am using their pics for so long that I would like everybody to check it out as an alternative to paid sites.

  40. Hi Don,

    Thanks for the post, this is something that I really hadn’t thought about, I have used some photos that I downloaded but never really realized I could be liable for their use on my website. Looks like I may have to review what I have and revamp my website, once again, thanks.

  41. Wow …this is definitely a subject with a lot of questions and legalities for most of us who build and use blogs and websites. Someone could for sure tap into a new niche here huh? Providing new pictures for all of us to use with “true” royalty free use.

    Another option and though i am not great at it … snap a few your self. I have found for around the hundred dollar range one can by a new digital camera that downloads directly to the computer. Thus going around the need for “rights to use” , except ….if you are snapping pictures of people in which case you are right back into the whole legal thing again. Getting them to sign a modeling release ….dang it all 🙂

  42. Thanks for this practical and informative post Don.

    Most everybody needs images for their blogs and this is a good reminder that you can’t just grab any old picture ’cause you like it!

    Great informative comments as well.

    Ade

  43. I like to use the Photodropper plug-in for WordPress to get get access to the Creative Commons Flickr pictures. Just click, put your subject in and the plug-in creates a little gallery for you to choose from. Very handy plug-in.

  44. Hi Don,

    Very nice tips on where to get images legally. I’m not even sure why there are image search engines. A lot of people think it’s a free image service. I used to use Flickr once in a while and give credit or a link back, but now I just buy what I need. I have had flickr images disappear on me, probably removed by the owner. That’s a chance you take.

    For me, it seems much easier and safer to purchase them. There are a lot of places to buy images reasonably priced. I use istockphoto.com but there are many others.

  45. Hello Don,

    In all photos that I collect and require attribution, I save the attribution information in the “Properties” of that specific file. A person right-clicks on the file and chooses “Properties.” Then clicking on “Summary,” the file attribution has plenty of room to be stored in the “Comments” section.

    If you do it right at the time you save the photo, you never have to worry about trying to locate it again. Take the time and do it right ~ as my father always says!

    Sincerely,
    Dawn Perry
    Austin, TX

    1. Very good suggestion Dawn! I was just starting to download some images and was wondering how to do that easily. So you got me started on organizing my images.

      One of the first things I noticed is that within “properties” and then “details”, that “tags” could be used. So instead of putting a comment in there, I’ve decided to use the “tag” function. This works out very well because when you hover your mouse over the image, all the tags come into view, but the comments do not.

      Also, using tags, you can bring up all images by tag, then further organize them using the “group” function. So I’ve created a tag called: “no attribute required”, and I’ll also create a tag for each image source (e.g. – source: morguefile.com)

      So…the first thing I did is create a folder titled “Free Images”. (Note: I’m not creating any sub-folders (i.e. – halloween, children, etc.) as I noticed that the tag function only works within one specific folder, and doesn’t reach down into sub-folders.)

      As an example, I downloaded several Halloween-related images into my Free Images folder that I tagged “source: morguefile.com” and “no attribute required”, plus an additional tag called “Halloween”.

      Now I can easily find a Halloween image with no attribute required, plus I’ll always be able to readily see the source.

      The only minor limitation I found with this is that I can’t figure out how to just bring up ONLY images tagged “Halloween” that are also tagged “no attribute required” – as checking the boxes for those tags brings up ALL images in that folder with those tags.

      But using the “group” function puts them all in groups on the same screen. So, for example, I can look to see if an image that I want to use in the group tagged “Halloween” also shows up in the group tagged “no attribute required”. If so, I’m good to go!

      Karen

  46. Great piece Don and on a subject that most of us do violate when we’re starting out –
    just because most folks don’t realize the extent of copy right protection.

    I went to the NY Library site and it doesn’t look free & public domain to me.

    It says free and open access to the images.
    Access and reuse are entirely different.

    I clicked on the website terms at the bottom of the page that the link above took me to
    Website Terms & Conditions

    They are pretty clear that they, the Library won’t even guide you on which images might have copyrights,
    the burden is on you to find out and comply.

    I used to be one of those who just clicked thru and didn’t even read stuff like that,
    but it really pays to be careful out there.

    copied from NY Library site:
    Because the Library’s collections are vast, we are not in a position to provide advice to patrons about which materials are protected by third party rights and which materials may be used freely. The following website has information about copyright, fair use and other related topics which may be useful: http://www.copyright.gov/.

    It is your obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials from the Library’s collections. You are solely responsible for determining whether the use of any digital object requires the permission of any other person or entity, and you are responsible for paying any associated fees. If you have questions about the legal issues surrounding the use of digital objects you should contact your attorney.

    Thanks for the contribution you are Don!

      1. This blog discussion took a right turn here. I get the feeling you know an easy way to find US Govt
        pictures that are in the public domain. Thanks for sharing. Mary

        1. Please be careful with US Gov pics –

          1. the US Gov is very clear that NOT all photos on their websites are public domain, some are copyrighted and usually they are stated quite clearly.

          2. the US Gov also says that photos with people in them can be subject to personal, private restrictions, i.e., the person doesn’t want their photo used….

          So also be very careful with US Gov pics…. check out their permissions to use the pics and you might want to avoid pics with clearly recognizable faces, especially of children, because then you might be infringing on their privacy rights.

          Eileen

  47. Love this post Don, very timely for me, just sorted Flickr, now even more choices:)
    Thank you, I’m sure this information will be put to good use, in the Interior decorating market you need more images than you can buy from stockphoto sites, I use these images a lot for ‘what not to do’ shots, these are very hard to buy!

  48. Don, under the heading “I am the most easily confused person on Earth,” I bring you this comment… I did as you decribed, found a (random) pic via that method (on flickr) — I se the exact spot you mean — but there’s no such code or place for a code, as you show in your example. The I singed into flickr — thinking maybe I need to be signed in to see the box/code. Still no luck. Then I clicked on the link on YOUR blog (this page) where you attributed the pics you used — that DID lead me back to flickr + the page of that photographer — but even on HIS pics, there that same page (2.0 rights, etc.) — just no attribution code box!! So… how does one really manage to get the code?

    Please advise. thanks!

    1. If they don’t specify the code, then you follow the instructions that I gave in the video and link back to the picture and their account.

      Don

  49. An excellent post and resource! We’ve spoken with scores of artists on both sides of this equation – the ones who swipe (usually inadvertantly) and the swipees, who’re suitabily chapped…

    1. Hi Swipers,

      One has to be careful, even with webpage building software. A long time ago (5+ years) I used a well-known package to create a banner with photos. Just recently I had Getty Images present me with a bill for over $2500!!! I could not have contested it, they had me right down the line. Fortunately, the software company took the hit and negotiated direct for me – but you can see that these warnings are REAL!!!

  50. Thanks Don!

    I’m always looking for good pictures to use for different internet marketing and online advertising – this is a great tip to finding an endless supply of free images on all sorts of topics! Thanks again!

  51. If you are using WordPress, you can add the totally free Zemanta plugin (not my plugin, but I do recommend it quite often). It automatically searches places like Wikipedia, Flickr and other sources for images, based on the text in your article, to add to your blog post. It also shows what type of license each image has. Great time saving add-on for WP that finds images and a lot more.

  52. This is another GREAT site for stock images that cost nothing: http://www.sxc.hu/ Some have no attribution requirements. I’ve gotten background images for twitter backgrounds, websites and other great graphics images from this site. It’s a well hidden gem. :o)

      1. Ken,

        They aren’t all ‘free’ to use. The site says: “Some of the images in the Digital Gallery may be subject to third party rights such as copyright and/or rights of privacy/publicity. Before using any of these images please review the Library’s Terms and Conditions.”

        If you read the ‘Terms and Conditions’ it says you can’t use any of the pictures for commercial use without paying. The high resolution files also have further restrictions. It’s not a ‘FREE’ site.

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