12 April 2018

Tips on How to Properly Source an Image Online & Websites that Offer High Quality CC0 Images

By Rebecca Imaizumi, Marketing Assistant, NKCC


Where do you look when you need high quality pictures for your website, blog, twitter or Facebook? The internet is filled with beautiful images. It’s easy to download them and reuse them without seeking permission from the rights holder. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the rights holder of the images you see and download from the internet may not have given permission for other users to download them for their personal or commercial use. There have been cases where users have been prosecuted for infringing copyright by using images without the copyright owners’ permission. Being prosecuted for copyright infringement could lead to fines, potentially damage your company’s reputation and even lead to losing trust from your customers. So, how do we know for sure that we have the permission to download and use images? Here are 3 tips to help you find high quality images!


Tip 1: Look for images that are labelled as “CC0” (Creative Commons 0). Never heard of CC0? Here is the definition according to http://www.creativeCommons.org

CC0“No Rights Reserved”

“CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database- protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.” (CreativeCommons.org)

This indicates that the rights holder has given permission for anyone to download, use, edit for all their uses and does not require you to attribute the source. (However, it might be nice to cite the source out of courtesy and respect for the rights holder). However, there are occasionally images that state “CC0” but you come across the same image sold on another site. In that case, it could be possible that the rights holder has not given permission to others to use freely and so you would be advised not to use it.

Tip 2: A helpful tool to use is www.tineye.com. It’s a reverse image search engine which will help you determine the source of the image to make sure it is indeed CC0.

Tip 3: Here are some websites that offer free high-quality images, but the license of these images might change over time so double check to make sure they are indeed CC0 before downloading and using.





Creative Commons.org, 2018. Accessed: 2 Mar, 2018. Available at: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/

1stimage: Dariusz Sankowski.https://pixabay.com/en/old-retro-antique-vintage-classic-1130731/

2ndimage: Geralt.https://pixabay.com/en/problem-solution-help-support-2731501/

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