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This series is designed to guide students step by step through the process of learning to blog. The activities can be completed at your own pace and in any order.

The aim of this fifth activity is to:

  1. Discuss copyright and introduce creative commons.
  2. Explain how to find and add creative commons images to posts.
  3. Discuss free and public domain images.
  4. Add creative common or public domain images to your posts.

Its purpose is to explain copyright and how to find images online that you can use in blog posts.

Intro to Copyright and using images in posts

Adding images to your post can be an important tool for building interest and grabbing your reader’s attention.

But you can’t just use any image you like in a blog post.

Why?  Because unless stated otherwise, the law automatically grants full “copyright” over any creative work a person makes.

Using Images
Dexter the cat hates those that steal his photos…

Laws that apply to use of copyright material in schools don’t apply to using the material on the Internet.  Using copyright material in posts leaves you open to copyright infringement which is why it is important to learn which images you can use and how to attribute images you can use.

To avoid copyright issues you should use one of the following three options:

  • Option 1: Use Creative Commons Images.
  • Option 2: Use public domain images.
  • Option 3: Use your own photos or use images you create using apps or online tools.

The same rules apply to audio and videos.  For example, if you are creating your own video to share online and want to add music then you need to use either creative commons or public domain music.

For this activity we will focus on finding images online that you are allow to add to blog posts.  Refer to step 4 if you want to upload your own photos or create your own photos.

Intro to Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an organization which provides free content license known as a creative commons license that people can apply to their work.

When you license your work with creative commons, you are giving people the permission to use it without having to ask permission, provided they use it in the manner stated in your creative commons license.

The reason people use creative commons licenses is to make it easier for everyone to share and adapt creative work without the concern of copyright infringement.

Watch this video on Creative Commons.

Creative commons licenses are used for books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs.

If an image, or website, doesn’t include a Creative Commons license, or doesn’t state the content is free to use (or public domain) than it automatically implies all content is copyright and you shouldn’t use!

Creative Commons Licences

There are different types of Creative commons licenses people use depending on what restriction(s) they want to apply to their work.

Watch this video for a summary of the different creative commons’ licences.

Finding Creative Commons Images

It’s a requirement of all Creative Commons Licenses that you attribute the original author.  This means you can’t just use a creative commons image without acknowledging the person who originally created it and often it also requires you to distribute the image under the same license.

Within or at the end your blog post you must attribute the image, include their copyright information and you should link the photo back to it’s original photo page.

Add Creative Commons Images To Post

Here are two options for finding Creative Commons images:

  1. Compfight plugin – is a quick tool on all Edublogs and CampusPress blogs to find and add creative commons images with attribution.
  2. Compfight website – if you don’t have access to the Compfight plugin then you can search for creative commons images on their website and upload the images to your post.

Here is how to add a photo using the compfight plugin: 

1. Go to Plugins > All

All Plugins

2. Activate the Compfight plugin.

Activate

3.  Go to Posts > Add New

Add New

4. Place your cursor where you want the image to appear and then click on the Compfight icon.

Compfight icon

5.  Add your search term and click Search.

Add search term

6.  Click on S (Small), M (Medium), L (Large) or F (Full size) to add the image to your post with proper Creative Commons attribution.

Click on size

7. Your image will insert into your post and should look like the example below!

  • If you click on the image or linked text below you are taken to the original photo page where you can read the Creative Commons license.

The sound of red

Peter Thoeny – Quality HDR Photography via Compfight

Here is how to add a photo using the Compfight website:

(used if you don’t have access to the Compfight plugin):

1. Go to Compfight.

2.  Add your search term and then click Enter.

Add search term

3.  Click on Creative Commons on the search results page.

Click on Creative commons

4.  Click on the creative commons image you want to use (from below the line).

You can only use an image from below the line.  All images above the line are professional stock photos and can only be used if you purchase them.

Which images can be used

5. This launches a pop up image window.

Image window

6.  Click on ‘Download‘ next to the size you want to use to download it onto your computer.

Click on Download

7.  Copy the HTML.

Copy the code

8.  Go to Posts > Add New

Add New

9. Place your cursor where you want the image to appear and then click on the Add Media icon.

Click an Add Media

10.  In the Add Media window click on the Upload files and then Select Files.

Add media

11.  Find the photo you downloaded on your computer and then click Open to start uploading the image.

12. While your image is uploading you will see a progress bar.

13.  Once the image has uploaded paste the HTML code into the caption field.

Paste the code

14.  Select the size you want to insert from the dropdown menu next to ‘Size‘ in the attachment display settings.

Select Size

13.  Click Insert into Post.

14. Your image will insert into your post and should look like the example below with the photo credit below it!

Photo Credit: Dustpuppy72 Flickr via Compfight cc

Free and public domain images

There are websites that provide public domain images that are free to use, or have their own free to use licensing.

Public domain works are those works that:

  1. Automatically enter public domain when created because they are not copyrightable.
  2. Their copyright has expired.
  3. Their creator has assigned their work to public domain.

Public domain images are free and available for unrestricted use.

Attributing free and public domain images

Public domain images and free to use images may not have a strict legal requirement of attribution, depending on the jurisdiction of content reuse, and depending on the terms and conditions of use of content from the website, but attribution is recommended to give correct provenance for most of these sites.

This means within or at the end your blog post it is recommended to attribute the image, include their copyright information and link the photo back to it’s original photo page.

Here’s a list of free and public domain websites:

Pixabay and Unsplash doesn’t require any attribution and can be modified.  You need to refer to the terms and conditions on the other websites to see if attribution is needed and how it is meant to be added.

Add Image from Pixabay

Here is how to add an image from Pixabay:

1. Go to Pixabay

2.  Add  your search term and press Enter.

Add search term

3.  Click on the image you want to use (you can’t use any image in the sponsored images row).

4.  This takes you to the image page.

5.  Click on Free Download, select the size you want to download and then click Download.

Click on Download

6.  Go to Posts > Add New

Add New

7. Place your cursor where you want the image to appear and then click on the Add Media icon.

Click an Add Media

8.  In the Add Media window click on the Upload files and then Select Files.

Add media

9.  Find the photo you downloaded on your computer and then click Open to start uploading the image.

10.  Select the size you want to insert from the dropdown menu next to ‘Size‘ in the attachment display settings.

Select Size

11.  Click Insert into Post.

Your Task

Complete one or more of the following tasks:

  1. Add a creative commons image or public domain image to a post and then share a link to your post by leaving a comment so we can see how you went.  Ideas for your post could be to write a poem or story about the image.
  2. Research copyright, creative commons, public domain and publish a post to share what you’ve learnt about using images, music or videos online.
  3. Leave a comment on this post and tell us how you went adding images to your post. Remember to leave a link to your post in your comment so we can have a look at your new post.

2 Comments

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  1. my class has talked about this for years, and this expands even more on it. thank you 🙂

    • Fantastic! Hopefully it has helped clarify things for you.

      • Kathleen Morris