Wednesday 25 February, 2015
Images do wonders for a blog. In fact, I’d say you should always have at least one image with each post, even if it’s nothing too spectacular. The eye just needs something to look at while it’s reading all of that text. The only trouble is that it’s a hassle always securing images.
The best images are the ones you take yourself. But who has the time to create an image for each post? If you do, more power to you. The other option is to buy images from a stock image site, which can get costly.
An excellent alternative I’ve found is Creative Commons. Creative Commons provides licenses for images that allow you to use for free with minimum hassle. CC images come with various licenses and most allow you to use the image without even contacting the owner or creator.
What Is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a non-profit organization based in Mountain View, California. It creates different types of licenses in order to encourage the sharing of content on the internet. These licenses use easy-to-understand images so that you don’t have to wade through a bunch of copyright jargon to understand how to use them.
CC licenses allow you to use and sometimes modify images, but not to sell them. Content creators who make their work available on CC licenses do so because they want it shared. They don’t want you making money off of their images. But this is exactly why it’s ideal for bloggers who need quick, easy and free images.
Creative Commons content is more than just images. Any type of content can use a CC license, including videos, written content and songs.
How CC License Work
Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you write a blog about Japan. You write an article on seeing the cherry blossoms, so you need a good image. You can find a Creative Commons image of cherry blossoms and use it on your blog. The only stipulation is that you have to give the content creator credit in the image caption.
Almost all of the content I’ve seen with CC licenses asks for attribution only. There are many other types of licenses, some of which require you to contact the creator. Some licenses ask that you not change the image while others allow you to alter it. With the simplest licenses, you can simply download the image and put it directly on your blog by simply giving attribution and alteration is okay.
Before you start using Creative Commons images, make sure that you understand the license types. As I said, they’re designed to be simple and easy-to-understand. There are CC FAQs, as well as other information to help you understand.
At the Creative Commons website, there’s a search page – http://search.creativecommons.org/
Here you can search for CC licensed images at a variety of sources. You can also check Wikimedia Commons (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page) and Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/)