Images, Copyright and Creative Commons


You Can’t Use ANY Image You Like in a Blog Post!

Why? The law grants the “copyright” holder rights over their creative and intellectual property. The laws and rules that cover fair use and education were written before the Web. Today they don’t apply to the use of copyright material on the Internet. Using copyrighted material online leaves you open to copyright infringement.

So it’s critically important to understand how to identify and understand the Creative Commons license and free Public Domain images. Of course, you can always use your own photos or use images you’ve created! The Creative Commons website has several videos that can help you understand the types of licenses. Click on the section titled How Can I License My Work? to learn about which license might be best for your creative work!

Creative Commons licenses are used for books, websites, blogs, photos, films, videos, songs as well as audio and visual recordings. If an image, or website, does NOT include the Creative Commons license, and isn’t in the public domain, then it implies that the image is under copyright and should NOT be used.

Many websites have images that have public domain images that are free to use, but it’s necessary to make sure you follow the terms of the conditions of use.

Creative Commons and Image Attribution

Creative Commons also requires that you attribute the original creator. You MUST acknowledge the person who originally created the work. Within or at the end of your blog post you must attribute or cite the image, include their copyright information and you should link back to the original photo page. Here is an example:


 The above Creative Commons image from is licensed under Attribution 4.0.

Finding images using a Google image search

Free and public domain images

There are websites that provide public domain images that are free to use or have the licensing to enable you to use them freely. Public domain includes the following criteria:

  1. Automatically entered as public domain when the image was created because the work is not copyrightable
  2. The work has an expired copyright
  3. The creator of the work has assigned their work to public domain

Attribution or giving credit to the public domain work is still recommended. This means that within or at the end of your blog post you MUST attribute the image to include the copyrighted information and you should link back to the original page where it appeared.

Sources of free and public domain images

Wikimedia Commons,,

Many Creative Commons images are available using this resource, but you must first contact the copyright holder for permission. Use the Advance Search and click thes Creative Commons box with each search you create.

Creative,,  site also have many images to explore

Google Advanced Image Search,


Compfight, Flickr Search tool and image search engine, 

Harvard Law Library Guide,

Carli Spina, Harvard Law Library Emerging Technologies & Research Librarian, has a research pathfinder to guide students in helping them find and correctly attribute public domain and Creative Commons media for projects and presentations. Information is included regarding images, audio and video content.





Starting a Blog

These are some of the basic steps for you to follow in creating your blog:

  • Please return the parent permission form about blogging signed
  • You will be creating your blog using
  • When you create your account you will be using your first name, last name initial only. Please DON’T include your full name for privacy on your public profile
  • You will want to create an avatar instead of using a photo of yourself, or maybe create you for your character, if appropriate
  • Most accounts require an email confirmation to finalize the account
  • Choose your display name so as not to reveal your real name. This display name will show as the author of your posts



  • Accept “I agree with terms of service” and start blogging
  • Select a theme for your blog which can be changed later
  • You have just started your blog!
  • Click her to submit your blog information to your teacher:

Mr. Blair /viewform?usp=send_form

Ms. Sheppard