The simple rule is: don’t use an image unless you have permission
. Often, that permission comes courtesy of those two words above: Creative Commons
. It’s a kind of extended copyright for the digital age, managed by the non-profit organisation of the same name.
Creative Commons licences (six of them
) range from ‘look but don’t touch’
to ‘do whatever you like’
. Most images carrying the CC logo sit somewhere in the middle: ‘Use my image with pleasure, but don’t sell it, and please give me credit’
Just remember, ‘free’ means free with conditions. Now, let’s tango with the stock image stalwarts …
You can download and use images from Pixabay
, even for commercial use, without restriction or attribution.
Nevertheless, always try to credit the creator with a link (usually in the caption). If you use an image for a major project, send a nice message, and if you are feeling generous, there’s a ‘coffee’ button. With free registration, you can download higher-resolution images.
Pixbay also has a growing library of free music
(think video and podcasts), sound effects and video
(think promo backgrounds and video outros).