Navigating the Copyright Rules

This content is for Fizzle members only.

How can you be absolutely sure you’re able to use an image on your site? Chase walks us through the most popular kinds of licenses in the lesson above.

Here’s a link to Roni Loren’s story. Definitely give that a quick read because her story will help make copyright clear.

Below, we list out important notes and links about each kind of license. It can seem scary at first, but, after watching this overview, you’ll know exactly what each license means and how to find images you’re confident to use.


Your Own Photos

Don’t count this one out! It’s a totally safe option and allows you the chance to flex some of those creative muscles. Choose an adventure, bring your cell phone and add some filters.


Public Domain Photos

Images in the “public domain” are not restricted by copyright. These images don’t require a license or fee to use. You can shape, change, edit and manipulate these images in any way you want. You also don’t need to include attribution to the original image maker anywhere when you use Public Domain images.

Links and resources:


Creative Commons Licensed Photos

Creative Commons (CC) gives creators “a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a ‘some rights reserved’ approach to copyright — which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet.” .

There are 6 main kinds of CC licenses. You can learn about all 6 licenses here. The ones I go for are these two:

  • Attribution (CC BY): You can use these photos however you like, editing and manipulating at will, using in commercial and non-commercial alike, so long as you give credit to the original creator. More details.
  • Attribution Share Alike (CC BY-SA): You can use these photos however you like, editing and manipulating at will, using in commercial and non-commercial alike, so long as you give credit to the original creator and whatever work your make with it have identical terms (allowing people to use, edit, manipulate, etc). More details.

Stock Photos (Rights Managed)

Licenses for these types of images vary. Each vendor has a different way of doing things so you’ll want to be clear about what you’re able to do with images you purchase at stock photo sites.

For example, here’s how Stocksy.com’s license works (found here):

Stocksy.com license


Further Reading

The Best Ways to Be Sure You’re Legally Using Online Photos

Blogger Beware: You CAN Get Sued For Using Photos You Don’t Own on Your Blog | BlogHer