Searching Creative Commons Images


Just because it is there, does not mean you have the right to take it and use it!

We’ve been talking about using other people’s work in our work.  Our Enduring Understanding is based on the quote above.  So how do you know if you can use someone else’s image?  We must assume that all work that does not belong to us is copyrighted.  That means it belongs to someone else and you don’t have the right to use it unless you are granted permission.

The internet is a great thing though and there are some sites that search only for “works” that very generous people have granted us permission to use – otherwise known as “Creative Commons”.

Compfight is a great search engine that, if told too, will only search flickr for “creative commons” images.  

Image search for butterfly | Compfight | A Flickr Search Tool

These are the images that we are allowed to use – but there are some conditions sometimes.  We have been learning about those conditions.  Each condition has a specific symbol:

Licenses - Creative Commons

You can find out more about the 6 different creative commons licenses here.

Here’s how compfight works and how you can then embed the image into your blog post without downloading and reuploading the image to your blog.
Compfight will search for images tagged with the words you have entered in the search box. Sometimes you might come across an image that isn’t appropriate, even though you have the safe search on – you know what to do – click away, and tell an adult what happened.

Compfight | A Flickr2122 Search Tool

Another tab will pop open – it will be the flickr page that stores the image you have chosen. You want the html code of the image so that you can embed it in your post. (Using the html code eliminates the need for the image file to be uploaded to your blog). 

Butterfly | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Image Embed Code | Flickr

Make sure you chose the size you want (Most blog themes have a post size of 500pixels – so the medium sized image is usually big enough to fit inside your post – you can always make your image smaller once it’s inside your post BUT you cannot make it bigger, so don’t choose a too small size).

Next you need to paste the html code into your blog post. Make sure you are on the Text (html) tab NOT the Visual tab. See the picture below:

visual tab vs text tab

Once you’ve pasted the html code inside your post, click on the Visual tab to see the image. If you want to embed another image, remember to change back to the html tab.

All that is left to do now is to attribute the image.

Image attribution is often found at the bottom of a blog post. It should look like this:

Image Attribution: robinn

or it could look like this:

Image Attribution: robinn:

Either way, the person’s name is included and there is a link back to where you found the actual image. Make sure that you don’t have .jpg at the end of the link – that’s not the right link!

Did you notice that you have to do a lot of switching back and forth from one website to another?   That’s why it’s so good to use the tabs in Firefox.  Have the backend of your blog open on one tab, and compfight open on another tab.


Creative Commons Licenses Information taken from:

7 thoughts on “Searching Creative Commons Images

  1. Hi, My name is Tee and I loved your post, the one which tell abouts Licence Conditions. I see that the images and the description of each image was incredible. I could understand every single step
    From Tee

    • Hi Tee,
      Glad the post was helpful. It’s important to make sure that we are not using other people’s work that we don’t have permission to use. It’s also very important to give credit to the people who have allowed us to use their creative works.
      Did you know that you don’t have to say your name again in your comment, if you fill out in name before you type in your comment?

  2. Miss H.
    I am a classroom teacher from New Zealand, we have been talking about this with my classroom and one of the issues that has kept coming up with our class page was highlighted for us when we recently found a video that our students had created that had been uploaded to another site and used without our permission, it was quite a strange experience. I really enjoy how you have also displayed exactly what’s needed to be discussed and explained about creative commons. Great post!

    • Hi Mr Webb!
      So glad you found this post helpful. This is really been a “hot” topic of discussion amongst all our teachers and students who are blogging. I’m curious to know what you did when you found your video uploaded and used on another site without permission. Did you contact the site creator?
      Did you leave them a comment? My colleague & good friend, educator Keri-Lee Beasley posted a similar experience that you might like to share with your students. You can find it here:

  3. Pingback: Another FlickrCC Search Tool « TeachingSagittarian

  4. Great post about creative commons and thanks for the link to the site – this will be useful. I had another one but this one is much more user friendly. I recently wrote a blog post on my professional learning blog about creative commons when using audio. Check it out if you’re interested here:
    Sarah (NZ teacher)

  5. Pingback: Where For Art Thou Creative Commons? | AIS-R Cohort

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