Bloggers are always on the look out for images to use in their blog posts. It can get expensive quickly if you use sites like iStock, Big Stock Photo, or Dreamstime to purchase images you can legally use. But guess what, you don't have to pay to find pictures to use in your blog posts. You just have to understand how the Creative Common License works and a whole new whole of free images will be available to use. Creative Commons License is a group of copyright licenses that allow the use of and alteration of documents in other works, including websites and blogs. These licenses can be used in different combinations, making it possible to different uses for a variety of works. These licenses were released by Creative Commons (http://creativecommons.org) in 1992 and make it easier for you to find free images that you can use on your website or blog.
Types of Licenses
When searching for images, you will see combinations of the following four core licenses. They are also often abbreviated and you can see the abbreviation for each license in brackets below.
- Attribution (by): You can use image, as long as attribution for the work is provided.
- Non-commercial (nc): You can use the image for non-commercial purposes only.
- No Derivative Works (nd): You cannot create derivative works only. You cannot edit the work.
- Share-Alike (sa): You can make derivative works and modify the work, only if you distribute the work under the same license as the original work.
Possible License Combinations
There are 6 possible combinations of these licenses:
- Attribution (by): It can be used for commercial purposes, derivative works can be created, but only if proper attribution is provided.
- Attribution AND Non-Commercial (by + nc): It cannot be used for commercial purposes, but derivative works can be created and proper attribution must be provided.
- Attribution AND No Derivatives (by + nd): It can be used for commercial purposes, but derivative works cannot be created and proper attribution must be provided.
- Attribution AND Share Alike (by + sa): It can be used for commercial purposes, derivative works can be created, but only if the derivative work is released under the same license. Attribution must be provided.
- Attribution AND Non-Commercial AND No Derivatives (by + nc + nd): It cannot be used for commercial purposes and no derivatives can be created. Attribution must be provided.
- Attribution AND Non-Commercial AND Share-Alike (by + nc + sa): It cannot be used for commercial purposes and derivatives can be created, as long the derivative work is released under the same license. Attribution must be provided.
Graphical Representation of Licenses
While some sites may use different images to indicate certain licenses, you will likely see the images used by the Creative Commons. You will often see a CC, which stands for Creative Commons and indicates a Creative Commons license:
Then the following images, show the 4 possible licenses that can be used in the variety of combinations mentioned earlier.
- Attribution (by)
- Non-Commercial (nc)
- Share-Alike (sa)
- No Derivatives (nd)
Understanding these licenses will make it easier for you to find the images that suit your needs. As a blogger who is not interested in making money on their blog, you really just need to focus on finding images with the Attribution or non-commercial licenses. An of course who are looking to make money off their blog should look for the absence of the non-commercial license.
There is more coming on this topic such as how to use Google Images, Flickr, Zemanta, and Photo-Dropper to find images with the appropriate Creative Commons License, so keep an eye out on the blog!