We’ve all done it, we’ve all used Google to find images and we’ve all slapped those pictures into presentations, lab reports and posters. What most of us don’t realize though is that most of the pictures we find on Google are protected by Copyright. We could have long discussions about things like “fair use” and citations but the bottom line is that there is only one way to make sure you are not violating any Copyright laws when using images from the internet: Use your own images or use Creative Commons images and cite them correctly.
That sounds like a lot of work!
It might sound like a lot of work but it doesn’t have to be. There are some great resources out there to help you find and correctly cite images you find online. Have a look at the different options, give them a try and see which one best suits your needs.
1. Photos For Class
Photos For Class returns only images that are not copyrighted and it uses a safe search filter which is great for use in school. Citations become part of the downloaded images.
Compfight returns mostly images that are not copyrighted but also returns “premium” images. Images can be downloaded in different formats/sizes and they all come with the HTML code for correctly citing the image.
Google doesn’t help you with citing your images but it does help you find Creative Commons images and it will return more results than the other options listed here, so as long as you’re ok with writing your own citations for images it’s a great option.
5. Your own images
Even when you use your own images you should be citing them so people know where they are coming from. Here is an acceptable format (MLA) for citing your own images:
Last Name, First Name. “Photograph Title/Description.” Year Created. Digital File Type
Here’s an example: