Skip to main content

Copyright Free and Creative Commons Images: Home

Links relating to 'open' content or flexible licensed images. Referred to as Copyright Free & CC Images.

What are copyright free and creative commons images?

All online Images are protected by copyright, unless they are out of copyright which means that copyright has expired. To allow for greater sharing of online images, copyright owners can make them available under Creative Commons, which is an open licence system to facilitate reuse of content. Copyright free images have no conditions but Creative Commons licence terms must be followed.  NOTE: Anyone can place a creative commons licence on someone else's image. Use your common sense as to whether it is likely that commercial and valuable images will be available for free.

Searching for creative commons images in Google or by colour or by CC Search

You can modify Google and other search engines to look for creative commons material only. If you go to advanced search you can set a filter for reuse. Go to the bottom of the page to 'usage rights' and change it to the type of use you want.

You can also limit a Google image search to Creative Commons images only by selecting "Tools" then "Usage Rights" and choosing one of four options 'Labeled for reuse', 'Labeled for reuse with modification', 'Labeled for non-commercial reuse' and 'Labeled for non-commercial reuse with modification.'  'Non-commercial reuse' would apply to classes at Monash and 'with modification' if you plan on altering the image.

Searching images by colour or by creative commons and Digital Images

Citing images

All Creative Commons licences require attribution. You can list the licence name in full, use an abbreviation, or use a button. Best practice attribution is: "Name of image" by name of creator is licensed under CC BY 4.0 (or whichever licence is chosen)

You can install the OpenAttribute 'add-on' to help with attribution. You can also download the creative commons licence buttons to indicate the licence or use ImageCoder which will generate the html code required to insert the image of the required buttons and attribution. For more information see:

Diversity Images

Gender Spectrum Collection (The Gender Spectrum Collection is a stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés. This collection aims to help media better represent members of these communities as people not necessarily defined by their gender identities—people with careers, relationships, talents, passions, and home lives. Read Guidelines and Creative Commons license.)

World Obesity Image Bank - Combating weight bias in the media. Positive images of people who have a range of body sizes. (Images are free to use but must credit the World Obesity Federation upon use and Agree to the Terms of Use.)

Questions or comments?

If you have any queries about these resources please contact the Copyright Office.