Using images from the web

Further to what @ArielLeslie said, here is a good example of a site you can use as a source for images and use with the blessings of the content producers. Free images and videos you can use anywhere


Another great resource for free images is Unsplash. ALL of the photos there are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can do anything (edit, modify, distribute) to the photos for free, even for commercial purposes.

You can also filter images on Google by usage rights. Just check under “More tools” and then
"Usage rights."

Or check out Wikimedia Commons. Each image will have licensing information. Some images are in the public domain, so they don’t require credit, others have different Creative Commons licenses which come with varying level of restrictions. But sometimes that restriction is just that you need to credit the photographer.

Hope that helps!


More free images:


At the very least, you could figure out who took the photograph and credit them underneath the image with “Photo by:(insert photographer)”


Just run your google search for whatever you’re looking for. Click Images. Click Search Tool - Usage Rights. There you can filter for a couple different types of reuse permissions.


Thanks for the feedback. I did some research and it seems I am definitely misusing some of the images.

I am doing a sports themed tribute and found some nice images on Getty. They provide a free embed link that gives them credit, so I will be using those. It’s not quite as clean looking, but it’s legal!

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I just want to clarify in case people get the wrong idea… Works do not need to be published in order to be copyrighted. They are copyrighted the moment they are captured on a tangible medium. In practical terms the distinction doesn’t matter because the OP asked about taking images off the net but I thought it might still be worth mentioning.


Many people think that’s all that’s required but legally speaking, that’s not good enough. The creator can still sue you.

Another great place to look is

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I found in another class. These are Creative Commons or free for students using the photos for projects.

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Google image search itself gives you filters to search for free to use images: click “search tools” then “usage rights” choose “labeled for reuse”. You can use this one even for commercial use as there are no restrictions whatsoever on this particular licence.

Having researched this recently in my line of work, I happen to have a list of sites handy. It seems new users can only post 2 links per post, so you’ll have to add “.com” to each of these:

unsplash realisticshots pixabay lifeofpix gratisography freenaturestock snapwiresnaps.tumblr publicdomainarchive travelcoffeebook furiouscamera jaymantri kaboompics startupstockphotos freenaturestock fancycrave pexels thepicpac barnimages crowthestone stock-image-point photocrops resplashed skitterphoto jeshoots

Those all used CC0 (Creative Commons Zero), which is the most permissive license I’m aware of.

Getty bought an Israeli startup called PicScout a few years ago and they use their web spider software to find images they own and send settlement demands to the tune of say $800. And there are Getty-owned images suspiciously planted here and there among the free sites. I recommend doing a search-by-image on Google to see if the image is listed on any Getty-owned sites. (iStockPhoto, BigStock, etc.) If so I would avoid it unless you paid them for it directly.

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A lot of these suggestions are great! However, when using codepen you have to link to the images, or get a pro account. Google or bing usually points to the image download sites so it was with effort that I determined a good approach was to download the image then put it up on a site like photobucket. But that is hardly ideal. I have found a few pics I could directly link to, but most are low quality. Any better suggestions out there?


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Good stuff

Using images in a learning environment ie school, is a non commercial use and for learning purposes. I thought that was legal? (Specifically, US copyright) because you’re not making any money off the images?

Technically (Disney will still sue you though). If you’re going to put it in your portfolio it becomes a different issue. In either case you still have to attribute images correctly.

Using images in a learning environment ie school, is a non commercial
use and for learning purposes. I thought that was legal? (Specifically,
US copyright) because you’re not making any money off the images?

No offense intended at all, but have you read the majority of this thread starting from the top? It basically started out as someone asking about non-commercial use (which includes academic & learning purposes) and a bunch of people have posted some very helpful info on the topic—the 2nd post in particular addresses your situation.

If you’re not putting images back on the Internet where they can be found by the owner, the least you should do is credit where you found them, or better yet the owner if you can.

Edit: First, I am not a lawyer but I spoke with my professional photographer friends, one is also a photo teacher and they said it is legal (USA) to use images for educational purposes (or personal use) ie NOT for profit. It is considered “fair use.”

Yes, attribute the photo but it is not legally required in an educational setting or for personal use. It’s not a legal problem. You might have a personal moral problem with unattributed images on a Tribute Page but it is not a legal problem.

@astv99 Yes, I read the posts, can I ask questions? Are you a lawyer? Turns out I am correct. @genestd was getting stuck locating images- " I have found a few pics I could directly link to, but most are low quality. Any better suggestions out there?" In a professional environment (for profit) it is a serious issue but that is different from an educational environment (not for profit) it’s not a legal problem.

My point is; I won’t let using web images stop me from completing a challenge. It is legal in the USA in an educational setting like FCC.