Finding copyright-friendly photos for the Google Images generation

How to locate them
Creative Commons includes a search page for locating Creative Commons-licensed images, music, video, and multimedia on their site at


However, since our students are more accustomed to using search engines and Flickr to locate images, the big three image search sites have now included menu items that make it easy for students to limit their image search to Creative Commons licensed images.

When using Google images, after the initial search, students will see a “search tools” sub-menu. Once that is clicked on, they can view a menu entitled “labeled for reuse.” This drop-down menu provides the ability to limit the search to just Creative Commons licensed items.


When using Flickr to search for images, after the initial search, a sub-menu called “Creative Commons” appears to limit the search to images that have permission to be used.


When conducting a search in Bing, and limiting the search to images, a “license” sub-menu appears after the initial search and allows students to use Creative Commons-licensed images.


In addition, for those Google Apps for Education districts who are making use of the Google Docs Research Tool, the image search in that tool includes access to Creative Commons-licensed images!


When giving attribution to the creator of a Creative Commons image, I suggest students do two things. (Attribution is different than full citation. Students would have to use the citation formats provided by APA, MLA, etc. for citing an image.)

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