One Writer’s Journey

September 15, 2015

Copyright: Using Creative Commons Photos for Your Blog

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:36 am

camera cc by nc Derek von EssenSo far the single most useful thing that I’ve learned about in the copyright class is about the Creative Commons License.  Creative Commons creates a middle ground between reserving all rights to your work and giving them all away.  As explained on their site:

“The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional ‘all rights reserved’ setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.”  There are six licenses available.  I will discuss them in terms of photos since, at this time, I’m most interested in finding photos I can use on my blogs.

Attribution.  This is the broades license.  It let’s me use a photo any way that I want on my blog, even commercially.  All I need to do is give credit to the photographer, CC BY…

Attribution-ShareAlike.  This let’s me do whatever I want with the piece.  If I use it to create a photo badge, I have to afix this same license to my badge so that it in turn can be used by others.  I credit the photographer thusly, CC BY-SA . . . 
Attribution-NoDerivs. With this license, I can use the photo either commercially or noncommercially but I may not change it in any way.  I would credit the photographer, CC BY-ND . . . 
Attribution-NonCommercial.  If I find a photo that I want with this license, I can use this photo however  I want and must credit the photographer but don’t have to license my work with this same license.  I would credit the photograher with CC BY-NC . . . 

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike. You should be starting to see a pattern here.  Credit the photographer (CC BY-NC-SA. . .), change in any way, but only for noncommercial use and license with the same terms.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs. This is the narrowest license. Credit the photographer (CC BY-NC-ND…), download and share as is and no commercial use.


How do you find photos with a Creative Commons License?  I’ve found the ones that I’ve used so far on Flickr.  I just search for my topic and creative commons.  When I find a photo I like, I check which license it is offered under.  The only problem that I’ve had so far is when I find a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs and want to use it on the Muffin.  I get paid for those blog posts so this means that I need to find another photo.

This system has made it much easier for me to find photos and I’m not having to take quite as many of my own.  Not that I’m giving up my camera but this is a nice alternative when I’m on deadline.





  1. Great information, SueBE! I’ve been using lately – all of their pictures are free to use, but it’s not easy to find a specific object on their site. They have some great nature shots, though.

    Comment by rhcwilliams — September 15, 2015 @ 1:51 am | Reply

    • I haven’t used I’ll have to check them out. Sometimes I just do a Google Image search for “antique camera” + “Creative Commons.” That said, I’m never sure why that gives me half of the results that it does!

      Comment by suebe — September 16, 2015 @ 12:58 pm | Reply

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