The and Other Digital Venues on Which to Locate Copyright Friendly Images

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Posted: 08/21/2013

Last week the Getty Museum announced it was removing all restrictions for use of most of the images that the houses. These copyright friendly images are either in the public domain, or the Getty is releasing all rights that they own to these images. In essence, there are now roughly 4,600 images located in the Getty Open Content Program that are freely available for others to use for classroom instruction, scholarship, creative purposes, and any other commercial or non-commercial uses. Many of these images consist of paintings, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, antiquities, and sculptures. Therefore, educators have another resource pool from which to locate and employ images for their academic and scholarly purposes.

Of course, when one needs to locate images for use at the academy, Creative Commons also offers a search function that assists in locating images licensed with Creative Commons licenses. This search tool is located at: From this webpage, one may search for images from various sites such as Flickr, Fotopedia, Google Images, Open Clip Art Library, and Pixabay. Many images found on these various sites are licensed by one of the six Creative Commons licenses. Therefore, unlike the images located on the Getty, which have no restrictions on their use, the images licensed with Creative Commons licenses may have some restrictions. Thus, one should review the type of CC license applied to an image to ensure proper use of said image (e.g., attribution to a creator, restrictions on commercial useā€¦).

From the Creative Commons search site:, one may also search for media, websites, music, and videos that are licensed with Creative Commons licenses.

Other sites that offer images with no or limited copyright restrictions include:

  1. FreeDigital : Most images on this site are licensed to allow the free implementation of any personal, educational or charitable purpose. However, if one wishes to use the images on this site for commercial purposes, then one may have to purchase a license to do so.
  2. The Morgue Files: This site offers images licensed with Morgue Files licenses, which have similar restrictions to the Creative Commons licenses.
  3. Photo Rogue is an interesting concept, where on this website, one may make a request for a specific type of photo. Then, theoretically, a volunteer photographer attempts to create the requested photograph, and then posts it to this site for the original requester. Obviously, some copyright restrictions are apparent by using a photograph taken by another person, if the requested photograph is ever taken. The individual taking the photograph would own all copyrights, unless they transfer an interest to another person, in writing.