Brinda Berry · writing advice

Creative Commons for Images and Music

There’s been a lot of talk online among writers about legally using images and music on blogs, websites, and other web-based content. The need to recognize copyright and ownership of creative works is not a new concept. Some authors have recently brought it to the forefront and my presentation at the monthly meeting addressed this resource:

Creative Commons was founded in 2001 with the support of  the Center for the Public Domain and is led by a Board of Directors . It gives us a way for creative professionals to share content in a way that gives credit and acknowledges the permission granted by the owner.

For a handy SEARCH query using Creative Commons partners, I recommended using the the Creative Commons page listing Flickr, Wikipedia, and Google Images and other partners who have adopted the Creative Commons licensing standard.

During the presentation on Saturday, we searched Flickr images to find one for a blog post. I typed  “businessman” in the search box on and clicked on the Flickr button. I  clicked on the box that I want to “modify, adapt, or build on” because I might want to add some text to the image. I did not check the “use for commercial purposes” because I will only use it on a blog post and not on a book cover, mug, or anything I am going to sell.  I then clicked on the button for Flickr.

There were pages of images returned that would fit the criteria for our needs. The key is to  make sure you follow the guidelines of the licensing by inserting the standard marker.

To illustrate, here is an image from the search. I downloaded it. I also saw that the Creative Commons licensing is right there on the page. So I grabbed it and placed the line below the my modified version of the image when I insert it into my blog.

LicenseAttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by MyTudut

Was that easier than you thought? The line directly below the photo is all that is needed to appropriately give the CC license information.

Let’s back up. The license for this photo needs to be interpreted. It is the following:

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

You can click on the License Marker in Flickr and it will explain all the permissions. The license marker is that bar with the icons and “some rights reserved.” So, I copied that entire line from Flickr and pasted it below the image.  I have then stated that (1) the photo belongs to MyTudut, (2) I won’t be using on a product I am selling like a book cover (3) and that it can be altered or transformed only with the same or similar share license as the one above.

Creative Commons gives us s a handy resource for images, music, and other shared works online. Just make sure to give credit where credit id due.

Watch this video to see all the ways you can credit an artist using Creative Commons licensing:


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Kiwi by Creative Commons Aotearoa New Zealand is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY) license.

BIO: Brinda lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.

Whisper of Memory Book Trailer:

4 thoughts on “Creative Commons for Images and Music

Comments are closed.