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ITECH 110 - Digital Imaging 1 : Professor Krikun: Use Creative Commons to Find Images

This research guide will help students in Digital Imaging understand Creative Commons,different types of image licensing agreements and how to search for images for reuse and modification.

A Shared Culture (Creative Commons)

Creative Commons Licenses

Creators choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work.

Attribution Attribution (by)

All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

Allows you to use an image, but you must credit the original creator.

ShareAlike ShareAlike (sa)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.

Allows you to reuse and edit an image, but you must allow others to reuse and edit your modified image too. You cannot copyright or restrict use of your work.


NonCommercial NonCommercial (nc)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.

Allows you to reuse and edit and image as long as its for a non commercial use (e.g. educational use, personal use).


NoDerivatives NoDerivatives (nd)

You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

Allows you to reuse an image, but you may not edit or modify it in any way.


You may see a combination of licenses: e.g. Attribution AND Share Alike. You must credit the original creator, and you may edit or modify the original. Others are permitted to edit and modify YOUR version and must credit the ORIGINAL creator.

Creative Commons Image Search

Using Creative Commons to find images of adorable livestock for reuse on a website.

  • Check the Use for Commercial Purposes and the Modify, Adapt or Build Upon boxes.
  • Choose Google Images as my search service (CC is not an image repository).
  • Enter Highland Cow as my search terms.

Browse through my results until I find something that I like. Notice my CC search set the Google Images search to Labeled for Reuse with Modification. (I could have gone directly to Google Images Advanced Search but Creative Commons lists other search engines I often forget about.)

One of the examples links to an image (on Flickr)


Under the photo it states Some rights reserved. That links us to more information about what we can and cannot do with this image.


The creator allows users to copy, modify and share the original photo, but only for non-commercial use, and as long as credit is given to them as the original creator, their licensing terms are provided, and any changes to the original photo are noted.

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