Extra Credit: Creative Commons Image Search

Creative Commons logo for the Attribute, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike license

When you’re looking for images online, user rights (copyright restrictions) can be an issue if you don’t want to fall foul of the (copyright) law. You can avoid this if you look for images that are in the Public Domain, or that have a Creative Commons License. (Click the links to learn more about what that type of license means.)

You may not always find as many images as you’d like for Chinese history, but if you’re looking for a generic illustration (e.g. “rabbit”), this works pretty well, and you can sleep soundly at night in the knowledge you did not deprive an artist of their copyright!

Where to find copy-right-free images

Two different ways to make it easy to find images you can put on your blog without worrying about a thing:

  1. Our library already has gathered the most likely useful places in one handy webpage, just scroll down a bit to the section “Where can I find images that have been nonexlusively licensed?”

On these sites, you can download the image, or right-click and “copy the image URL/image location” and then insert the URL in the Image block in your WordPress posts, and add the caption underneath. In the Creative Commons search engine, you will see the “Rich text” caption: you can copy that and add that straight to your caption under your picture in your blog post. That provides all the information on the creator, the source, and the rights.

  1. Install the bookmarklet from CogDog Blog: Go to the page “Openverse Search Bookmarklet“, and start your search there, or even better: drag the bookmarklet into your browser’s menu bar and have it with you at all times. Click on the Bookmarklet any time you need an image, type in a prompt, and browse the results.
  • TIP: Sites like Unsplash and Pixabay also offer lots of free and open high quality stock photos.

How to get the extra credit?

  • Look around on the sites listed on the dedicated Trexler Library Webpage, or install the Cogdog Bookmarklet, or look for an image on Unsplash or Pixabay.
  • Search for an image on a topic of your choice that is available in the Public Domain, or with a Creative Commons License for reproduction on your blog. It does not have to be connected to Chinese history for this Extra Credit assignment.
  • Write a brief blog post about using the search engine or installing and using the browser extension, and add your image. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Would you use it again? How or why (not)?
  • Make sure to add the credits: creator, source, and type of license (if you can, copy from the site where you found the image, with hyperlinks) –– even if the creator says you don’t have to.
  • Use the words Image Search in the title of the post, add the tag extra and make sure you add it to the category hst137

Then head on over to Canvas and fill out the Declaration Quiz:

– I wrote a blog post about my experience using the websites or browser extension to find an image in the Public Domain or with a Creative Commons License.
– I included the image in my blog post, and made sure the proper credits were added: creator, source and type of license.
– I added Alt Text for the image.
– I used the words “Image Search” in the title of the post, added the tag “extra” and made sure I added it to the category “hst137”

With thanks to Laura Gibbs for the inspiration for this assignment!