While you cannot simply search Google Images and use the images you want, Google does provide you with the search tools to find images that are under the Creative Commons License. Creative Commons License is a group of copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted work, according to certain specifications that vary from license to license. This guide will show you how to find the right type of image for your website project.
Advanced Google Image Search
To get started, go to the Advance Google Image Search at http://images.google.com/advanced_image_search On the search form, you will see an option called “Usage Rights”. The drop-down box gives you the following options:
If you have a commercial website of any kind, you should choose “labeled for commercial reuse” or if you want to actually edit the image, choose “labeled for commercial reuse with modification”. Here’s are the results for a search for “kitten”, “photo content” and “labelled for commercial reuse with modification”:
Before you use any photos, you need to confirm the Creative Commons Licenses are correct as noted in the following Google warning:
Confirm License – Wikimedia Commons
Again, before using an image, make sure you confirm the precise terms of the Creative Commons License. You can do this by clicking on the image and then click the X in the top right of the corner of the image, so you can see the actual web page the image came from.
This particular image is on the Wikimedia Commons Website (http://commons.wikimedia.org), so the information on the license is easy to find and are shown below:
If you want to use an image from Wikimedia Commons, you can click the “Use This File on the Web” icon to the right of the image.
A screen will pop-up, giving you the location of the image and the proper attribution. If you click the HTML box beside the attribution (as shown below), it will make copy-and-paste code for you.
Confirm License – Flickr
Another common source of Creative Commons License images is Flickr. If you see a Google Image Search result that is from Flickr, here’s what to do. We’ve now searched for “sad puppy”, “photo content” and “labelled for commercial reuse with modification”:
We are interested in using the first image and see it is from Flickr. We click it and then click the X in the top right corner of the image to see the web page it came from.
To use an image from Flickr, check the License information on the right menu:
If we click “Some rights reserved”, we can see the conditions of this license. Be sure to read the full terms prior to using the image.
Then you can click the “Share” tab at the top of the page:
If you click the “Grab the HTML/BBC code”, you will get copy-and-paste code that includes the proper attribution, if applicable and in this case, it is. You can also modify the size of the image, according to the options available in the drop down box.