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Finding copyright free images for your posts

Posted by | 2 comments

Home office

Sample image from Pixabay

We already talked about how to add images to your posts. Today, I’d like to look at where you can search for high-quality photos that are legal to use.

First things first, I need to reiterate that any photos you find on the open web should be assumed to be copyrighted. Do not use Google image search to look for photos. In addition, “royalty-free” does not mean copyright free. It simply means that you only have to pay once for a license to use an image multiple times.

Here are the types of licenses that you should be looking for:

Public Domain

Public domain images are owned by everyone. You can copy, modify, post and use the images however you like. No attribution is required.

Here are some great places to look for public domain images. However, be sure to look at the license information for the individual photo before you post it.

Creative Commons (CC)

Many images that are not in the public domain can still be used under one of several Creative Commons licenses. When using these images, you need to be sure to follow the conditions. Sometimes you will not be allowed to modify, or use the image for a commercial purpose. Most of the time, you will be asked to provide attribution to the creator of the image.

Images by PCC

Whenever possible, it is great to avoid stock photography all-together. The Portland Community College marketing department maintains a collection of photos including campus locations and students.

Taking photos yourself

You are also, of course,  more than welcome to post photos that you have personally taken.



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There are 2 comment for this article. If you see something that doesn't belong, please click the x and report it.

x by Andy Freed 3 years ago

If you post an image you’ve taken, won’t it then become automatically copyrighted by the college?

Does the Marketing department have an image search that we can access without having to go over to the office?

x by Gabriel Nagmay 3 years ago


“If you post an image you’ve taken, won’t it then become automatically copyrighted by the college?”

I am not a lawyer, but that is a point to consider. However, if you took the photo during work hours, I’d imagine that the college already has some rights to it anyway.

“Does the Marketing department have an image search that we can access”

Short answer: no.

A bit more: I think that this would be a great asset for the college. You should contact marketing to see if it’ a possibility. I would be happy to help in any way that I can.

Add to the discussion

PCC offers this limited open forum as an extension of the respectful, well-reasoned discourse we expect in our classroom discussions. As such, we welcome all viewpoints, but monitor comments to be sure they stick to the topic and contribute to the conversation. We will remove them if they contain or link to abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, off-topic items, or spam. This is the same behavior we require in our hallways and classrooms. Our online spaces are no different.



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