Creative Commons images and you: a quick guide for image users

//Creative Commons images and you: a quick guide for image users

Creative Commons images and you: a quick guide for image users

While most of the Creative Commons Images guides out there are designed for image markers; this specific guide has been designed to help big and small publishers and advertisers who want a high-level overview of Creative Commons licensing. It focuses on the main issues involved in sorting out what can be used where and generally provide advice on how to use the CCo licenses.

Creative Commons license basics

To begin with, there is no particular license category for images under Creative Commons. Instead, the Creative Commons licenses are categorised into six main license types each of which can be easily tweaked to cover video, text, images and many other kinds of works.

To fully understand the Creative Commons license types, it is advisable to always look at them concerning their clauses. Needless to say, the licenses are usually defined by the presence or absence of four main provisions which are detailed below;


All the Creative Commons licenses have an attribution requirement which directs users of any specific artwork or content to give proper credit to the work’s original creator. For images, this clause means that the users must provide the full name or handle of the original author and a link back to the original site where the image was downloaded from.

No Derivatives

A license with No Derivatives option usually prohibits users from building upon, altering or transforming the work in any way. If you are going to use a Creative Commons license with this specific option, you must use it exactly as-is.  Of course, this particular option does not interfere with Fair Use rights, and you will always be free to do the usual excerpts, parodies and the like. However, your actions should be limited to just that. In line with the No Derivatives option, you should avoid cropping an image or editing and removing some areas since this will be considered as a violation of the agreement.

Non Commercial

Many Creative Commons images have a non-commercial clause which restricts users from using images, content and videos for commercial purposes. Under this clause, images, content and videos are only allowed to be used privately by different users.

Share Alike

The Share Alike attribute stipulates that anyone who develops a derivative work has to license it under the same Creative Commons License that that was initially used. This clause targets those who plan to make new derivative works from already existing Creative Commons Licensed Content.

By |2018-08-16T19:15:40+00:00August 17th, 2018|Articles|