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Getting the Most from Free Resources

Images from the internet: You can safely copy & paste from:

Smiley faceSites where a reputable organisation has released a collection of images that it owns. They either do so on their own site or on a platform such as Flickr

Examples include NASA https://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/index.html
and The Science Museum http://collection.sciencemuseum.org.uk/search/images   
or British Virgin Islands Tourist Board http://www.bviimagelibrary.com/
The University of Creative Arts has released an archive of images for the visual arts for educational use: https://vads.ac.uk/index.php

You do need to check the terms of use and follow instructions for acknowledging the source. See the guidance on referencing Creative Commons images here:

Smiley faceImages which are in the public domain because they are old enough that copyright has expired

For example the British Library has a channel on Flickr where it shares copyright-expired pictures for re-use: https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary

 

Smiley faceDirectories of free-to-use use images where all images are provided by the site owners on a free-to-use basis

For example freefoto.com

Iconmonstr https://iconmonstr.com/ is a directory of free to use icons

 

Images from the internet: You need to think before using:

QuerySites where members of the public make their images available for anyone to use under a Creative Commons licence - these include Flickr Creative Commons, Pixabay and Google's search for copyright-free images

  • People can add pictures without knowing that the picture they have taken breaches copyright. The fact that they are happy for you to re-use it is irrelevant if the picture itself breaches copyright. An example of this would be a picture someone has taken of a painting in an art gallery. Use of that picture would breach the artist's rights if reused.
  • You can use "reverse image" search to get a sense of whether the picture is original or whether it may have been copied without permission. Use TinEye.com or Google image search.
  • Some sites such as Flickr allow photographers easily to change their licence. This means that after you have used a picture, its licence could change and you could unwittingly breach copyright.

Search for more examples of image-sharing sites using https://search.creativecommons.org/