Everything that is on the web was created by someone. While this statement is logical, it must be understood in terms of ownership. Even if you take a photograph and upload it to a website, you still have the right to determine if you want others to use it, alter it, or sell it.

Creative Commons helps people identify way for others to use their web-based materials. Creative Commons developed a set of licenses that can be used to communicate the wishes of the creator.

Creative commons licenses are organized into 4 main categories that can be combined:

  • Attribution:

This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.

  • Noncommercial:

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially. The new works must be non-commercial, but they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms as the original work.

  • No Derivative Works:

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as the work is passed along unchanged.

  • Share Alike:

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they license their new creations under the identical terms as the original. All new works based on yours will carry the same license.

Flickr is a photograph sharing website. Millions of pictures from around the world have been uploaded to Flickr. Many creators have chosen to use Creative Commons licenses to communicate to others how they wish their images to be used.


You may search Flickr by keyword and find images under Creative Commons license by visiting: http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

  1. To search under specific licenses, click the [See more] link on the bottom right side of the license type.

Searching Flickr/Creative Commons by keyword:

  1. Enter a keyword and click [Search].

Finding images:

  1. Once you find an image you’d like to use, click on the image [Title].

Downloading images:

  1. On the bottom right side of the image, click the [Download this image] button.
  2. Select the size image you’d like to save. For D2L Discussion Posts, select [Medium].

[Save] the file to a location on your computer that you can access later.

Citing Creative Commons images:


You will need 4 things in order to cite the image for the course. Collect this information as soon as you download the image. In a Word document, record the following information:

  1. the title of the image
  2. the creator of the image
  3. the Creative Commons license type(s)
  4. the Flickr URL (web address)


When citing the image for MLA, organize the information in the following format:

The photographer’s last-name, The photographer’s first-name. The title of the photo. The year the photograph was taken if known. The word “Photograph.” The owner of the photograph, The location where the photograph was taken if known. The website title. The website owner, the date the photograph was uploaded as abbreviated month. year. the date the photograph was retrieved as abbreviated month. year. <The URL>.

Example: Edenpictures. In Federal Plaza. 2010. Photograph. Collection of Photographer, Milwaukee. Flickr. Yahoo! Inc., 10 Dec. 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/edenpictures/4175712504/>.