This post is part three in a series on copyright compliance online.
There is an easy way to be sure that you are including images in your online courses and products that you are allowed to use. Creative Commons is an organization that allows anyone to license their images, videos, music, or other work for free. There are several different types of licenses that a user can select allowing a wide range of use (from using as is to being allowed to copy and modify the work). It is very simple to search for images licensed under Creative Commons.
My favorite website to use to search for images and other creative works is directly from Creative Commons.
From here, you can type in a keyword just like you would in Google. Then check if you are using the image for commercial work (which in an online course you are not) and check if you plan to modify the image or file at all.
Then, click which site you would like to search. My favorite for images is Flickr. Flickr asks all users to select a Creative Commons license for photos that they upload. I find the best photos here. The one I use in this post is a Flickr photo that I found using the Creative Commons search, actually.
From this site, you can search for images, videos, music, and other media.
One thing to remember is that all images (and other works) licensed under Creative Commons require you to provide attribution. Unless something is considered public domain, you must share where you found it and provide credit to the original author.
If the Creative Commons search engine isn’t enough, here are several more websites to help you find images to use in your online courses and projects. Just don’t forget to link back to the original creator!
Symbaloo webmix was created by Doug Peterson.