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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. This is when an image can be called copyright free. 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.

To avoid using images that have been uploaded or shared without permission from the copyright owner, select from copyright free or creative commons image sites from this guide. Follow the terms and conditions that allow reuse. NOTE: Any person can put 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 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:

Questions or comments?

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