What Free Means: Free Photo Licenses Explained

By November 22, 2017Freebies

No matter if you write blog posts about your everyday struggles with life or mobile pokies reviews covering the latest releases, you simply have to use images to emphasize your writing.

The old saying about a picture being worth a thousand words has found new meaning in the age of internet – blog posts and social media updates without pictures are far less effective in engaging potential readers than those with images in them. But simply googling a keyword and slapping the first picture you find into your post hardly ever does the trick. It will either be a picture used by a million other blogs before or a copyrighted one that will result in a DMCA notice or, in extreme cases, a lawsuit.

Luckily, there are hundreds of thousands of free images available online under a Creative Commons license. But “Creative Commons” doesn’t mean that you can do what you want with the picture in question. The license has several levels with different permissions that are pretty important to know.

There are four basic conditions that apply to content shared under a Creative Commons license:

Free Photo

Attribution

This basically means that you can use the content provided online (the image, in our case) if you give due credit to its creator. You can’t use content made available under a Creative Commons Attribution license without giving credit to the creator unless the creator gives you permission to do so.

ShareAlike

Using content shared under the “Creative Commons ShareAlike” license means that the end product you create can be used under the same conditions as the piece of content (image) you used. Any content created using CC ShareAlike material has to be free to copy, distribute, display, and perform under a CC ShareAlike license.

NonCommercial

The “Creative Commons NonCommercial” conditions are pretty self-explanatory: the material offered under such a license can be used for any purpose except a commercial one (making money off it).

NoDerivatives

The “Creative Commons NoDerivatives” license gives the user the permission to copy, distribute, perform, and display the content (the image) in its original form only, with no modifications whatsoever.

CC0

This is the type of content you should be looking for when searching for an image to attach to your social media update or blog post. The Creative Commons Zero license means that the creator of the content waives all rights to his or her work – this means copyrights and all other rights, all over the world. Images under the CC0 license can be copied, modified, sold, and distributed by anyone in print, online, and any other medium, without the original creator having to be credited or asked for any sort of permission. Basically, it means free content – and you would be surprised of how much content of this type is available online today.

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Dibakar Jana

Author Dibakar Jana

CEO & Founder of Djdesignerlab.com & ThemePurpose.com

More posts by Dibakar Jana

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