If you want to use other people's images, photos, illustrations, etc. for example in your essay, you can use images that are free or have a Creative Commons license.
Images you can use without permission
There are many collections of images under different licencing agreements that may be used without first obtaining the permission of the copyright holder. Licences allow for different types of usage. Usually images may not be used in commercial contexts and may not be altered. Some licences allow free usage of images, for a period stipulated by the copyright holder. It is therefore important to follow the licencing agreement carefully. Licences usually require users to acknowledge the copyright holder.
- Brittanica Image Quest The library database comprises more than 2 million images. These images may be used freely for educational purposes, but you always need to supply a reference for each image used. Click on “Cite” to obtain the reference.
- Flickr Comprises images under different licences, including some under CC licences. Select “Creative Commons” from the “Any licence” dropdown menu.
- Pixabay Free images and videos licenced under CC-0, which means that you may download, modify and use them royalty free for anything. Attribution is not required. (Pixabay also provide a choice of professional photos. Those images are marked with the Shutterstock logo.)
- Unsplash These photographs are free to use. They are all licenced under CC-0, which means that you do not have to acknowledge the copyright holder.
- Wikimedia Commons This database includes images, music and sound files under Creative Commons (CC) licences.
Find the right image with Google - May I use this image? (3:26)
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