I just got question in an email from a real estate agent, and I figured my answer could probably help ore than a few people.
“I have been on Flickr and found some great photos from my area. How do I know if these pictures are the ‘creative customs’ license? Can I just use them?
From what I’ve seen work in practice, there are two good options to know if you can use a Flickr photo in your blog post:
- Someone has uploaded and licensed their photo on Flickr under a creative commons license.
- Someone on Flickr has allowed other members to “blog” their photo, which works regardless of the license they set for the photo.
Here’s how to work each option:
On the bottom right panel on the page of any photo, there is a section that describes the “permissions” for the photo. If something is creative commons, then the text will say “some rights reserved” and links to a creative commons license. These are photos you can use as long as you give attribution back to the photographer by providing a link to the Flickr page with the photo.
If it is *not* creative commons then it will say “All Right Reserved”, and you should avoid using these photos on your blog.
Also, Flickr makes it easy to search ONLY creative common licensed photos by using their advanced search and checking the boxes at the bottom of the page.
If you are logged in to the service (and only if you’re logged in), then Flickr makes it easy to tell if someone won’t mind if you blog their photos. All you have to look for is the text above the photo that says “blog this”. If someone include the “blog this” button above the photo, then it means they’ve agreed to let any Flickr member use their photo in a blog post, regardless of the license they put on the photo. Here’s an example of that type of button:
And here is what a photo will look like if you use Flickr’s “blog this” tools: