Common online knowledge says that blog and social media posts should have an image with them. Unless you are a professional photographer, you probably do not have a lot of high quality images just sitting on your computer. It is tempting to just grab photos from Google Images but this presents a number of copyright issues. Fortunately, there is a growing body of free images online that businesses can use to promote themselves with a few requirements.

Creative Commons

For small business owners it is best to look for images released under a commercial Creative Commons license. Creative Commons provides licenses that copyright holders can use to release their images for public use with various limitations. Four creative commons licenses allow small businesses to use images on their websites and social media with various restrictions placed on the image’s use.

CC 0 License

You do not have to cite the source but it is good practice to always cite an image's.

CC BY License

You must cite the image's source.

CC BY-SA License

You must cite the image's source and protect your work under a CC BY-SA Creative Commons license.

CC BY-ND License

You cannot alter the image and must cite the image's source.

Suggestions on using Creative Commons Images

When using images released under a commercial Creative Commons license there are several points you should keep in mind:

  • Avoid images with logos or trademarked symbols. Trademark protects images or logos that represent an organization or individual. A trademark is still protected from public use even if it appears in an image released under Creative Commons.
  • You cannot state or suggest that an image you use under Creative Commons is yours, even if it is under a CC0 license. You also cannot claim a copyright on an image that is protected under Creative Commons. This is a good reason to cite CC0 licensed images even though you do not have to provide a citation.
  • You should always cite an image's source even if you do not have to. This improves the credability of both the author and you. When citing an image include the image`s title, the author's name, what license the work is under and a link back to the source.

Sources of Creative Commons Images

There are several good websites that collect images available for use under a Creative Commons license. Always use your own judgment when deciding to take an image from the web. If you are unsure about an image do not use it.

Wikimedia Commons

Bakery Shop in Paris (c)Diligent Public Domain

Wikimedia Commons collects a wide range of images. These images are under various levels of Creative Commons, public domain and copyright protection. Read the excellent documentation provided with each image to decide if you can use the image.

Unsplash

Top of the World (c)Joshua Jackson CCO

Unsplash provides free high quality professional photographs under a Creative Commons 0 license.

PDpics

Yoga silhoutte (c)Bhavesh Malhotra CC0

PDpics compiles free images that exist in the public domain or are under a Creative Commons 0 license.

Conclusion

Finding the right image for your website while not violating copyright is a real challenge. With some due diligence and the right resources, it can be a little easier though.

To learn more about Creative Commons read the Copyright at UBC's guide to Creative Commons.

You may also want to review your social media and intellectual property basics.

Common online knowledge says that blog and social media posts should have an image with them. Unless you are a professional photographer, you probably do not have a lot of high quality images just sitting on your computer. It is tempting to just grab photos from Google Images but this presents a number of copyright issues. Fortunately, there is a growing body of free images online that businesses can use to promote themselves with a few requirements.

Creative Commons

For small business owners it is best to look for images released under a commercial Creative Commons license. Creative Commons provides licenses that copyright holders can use to release their images for public use with various limitations. Four creative commons licenses allow small businesses to use images on their websites and social media with various restrictions placed on the image’s use.

CC 0 License

You do not have to cite the source but it is good practice to always cite an image's.

CC BY License

You must cite the image's source.

CC BY-SA License

You must cite the image's source and protect your work under a CC BY-SA Creative Commons license.

CC BY-ND License

You cannot alter the image and must cite the image's source.

Suggestions on using Creative Commons Images

When using images released under a commercial Creative Commons license there are several points you should keep in mind:

  • Avoid images with logos or trademarked symbols. Trademark protects images or logos that represent an organization or individual. A trademark is still protected from public use even if it appears in an image released under Creative Commons.
  • You cannot state or suggest that an image you use under Creative Commons is yours, even if it is under a CC0 license. You also cannot claim a copyright on an image that is protected under Creative Commons. This is a good reason to cite CC0 licensed images even though you do not have to provide a citation.
  • You should always cite an image's source even if you do not have to. This improves the credability of both the author and you. When citing an image include the image`s title, the author's name, what license the work is under and a link back to the source.

Sources of Creative Commons Images

There are several good websites that collect images available for use under a Creative Commons license. Always use your own judgment when deciding to take an image from the web. If you are unsure about an image do not use it.

Wikimedia Commons

Bakery Shop in Paris (c)Diligent Public Domain

Wikimedia Commons collects a wide range of images. These images are under various levels of Creative Commons, public domain and copyright protection. Read the excellent documentation provided with each image to decide if you can use the image.

Unsplash

Top of the World (c)Joshua Jackson CCO

Unsplash provides free high quality professional photographs under a Creative Commons 0 license.

PDpics

Yoga silhoutte (c)Bhavesh Malhotra CC0

PDpics compiles free images that exist in the public domain or are under a Creative Commons 0 license.

Conclusion

Finding the right image for your website while not violating copyright is a real challenge. With some due diligence and the right resources, it can be a little easier though.

To learn more about Creative Commons read the Copyright at UBC's guide to Creative Commons.

You may also want to review your social media and intellectual property basics.

Small Business week is well underway. We have launched our Celebrating You campaign to honour the many achievements of the BC Small Business community in the last year.

 In collaboration with our colleagues at the David Lam Research Management Library and the Canaccord Learning Commons we are also holding a draw to give away two 12 month community borrower cards for the UBC Library collections. The two winners who recieve these cards will get access to UBC's extensive business literature collections for free! These collections hold a wealth of knowledge on business practices and opportunities in BC. To entice you our expert Business Liason Librarian Irena Trebic recommends the following books you will not want to miss.
1. British Columbia's New North: How to Build Your Business, Respect Communities and Prosper

If you have ever wanted to explore Northern BC this book is for you. It looks at business practices in BC's northern communities as well as challenges and opportunities.

2. The Financing Toolkit for Small & Medium Business: Taking the Next Step with Confidence

Planning a financing pathway to success is a challenge. This book provides details about loans, equity, government funding, banks and various other pathways to success.

3. Pricing Strategies for Small Business

Poor pricing will sink your business fast. In this book Andrew Gregson provides details and suggestions on choosing a pricing strategy for your product or service.

4. Small Business: An Entrepreneur's Plan

Business plans are the number one indicator of potential business success. In this guide, Ron Knowles provides a step by step guide on writing a small business plan.

5. Creating a Successful Marketing Strategy for Your Small New Business

This book examines cases of marketing successes and failures. It also looks at lessons learned and provides tips to connect with consumers.

6. Innovations in SMEs and Conducting e-business: Technologies, Trends and Solutions

If you are transitioning to an e-commerce store this is your required reading. Maria Manuela Cruz-Cunha and Joao Varajao discuss the main challenges, opportunities and solutions faced by small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) adopting an e-commerce model.

7. Strategic Innovation in Small Firms: An International Analysis of Innovation and Strategic Decision Making in Small to Medium Sized Enterprises

Explore how small business owners around the world have found success. This book focuses on small firms in nine Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

8. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

If you love metrics and statistics you will want to read The Lean Startup. Eric Ries provides a scientific approach to creating and managing successful startups.

9. Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in East Asia: Sectoral and Regional Dimensions

If you are considering expanding into the Asian market you must read this book. It examines the challenges and opportunities in several East Asian economies.

10. Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur

Scott Cooney takes a look at solid business basics and how you can use them to start, build and grow a green business. A great read for the ecopreneur.

Draw Details:

Please submit an entry with your name, email and address by November 10th 2015. We will contact winners on November 16th.

Please note that remote access to most online resources is restricted by license agreements to current UBC students, faculty, and staff only. For restrictions on specific databases, check online resource access restrictions. Also, this will only be eligible for community users who are interested in visiting UBC's Vancouver campus. For those on campus don't forget to check out the display of these titles or where to locate them in David Lam's blog post.

Photo from Unsplash.com.

Small Business week is well underway.

read more

Small Business week is well underway.

read more

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