Can I Use a Copyrighted Image If I Give Credit?

Whether you’re creating a slideshow presentation, putting together a marketing campaign or designing a brochure for your small business, images are an important part of visual content.

Unless you have a license to use an image, it’s a violation of copyright law to reproduce, publish or distribute it without permission.


When an image is posted online, it should clearly show the name of the owner and copyright information. This information is important because it tells others who to credit if they use the work. It is also an effective way of promoting the image owner’s work and their rights.

The Copyright Office has published several resources on how to find out the rights associated with a particular piece of content. This includes the type of copyright, how long it lasts and who to contact if you want to use the image for commercial purposes.

Many online images are licensed under Creative Commons licenses that allow users to re-use them without the need for permission from the copyright holder. This is a great option for people who don’t have the time to research the rights and attributions of the visual works they use.

However, if an image is not under a Creative Commons license, it still requires attribution to the original source. This attribution can take the form of a link to the image’s website URL and/or a full credit statement at the end of your post.

In addition to giving credit for the images you use, it’s essential to give credit when creating graphs and charts. This is especially true when re-creating data from another source.

When you create a chart or table, you must provide copyright information about the chart or table itself and the data used to generate it. This is an important part of writing a paper or using a chart or table in a presentation, sales brochure or other business materials.

When you purchase material from a photo agency, read the terms and conditions carefully. Often the terms and conditions will include a clause saying that you must credit the photographer when you use the material. This is an important rule of thumb that protects you as a user and ensures that the photo agency will get proper compensation for its work. If you don’t credit the photo agency, they may choose to remove your account from their website and/or ban your account from future use of their services.


If you are using an image that is copyrighted, you should always give credit to the original creator of the work. Failure to do so can be costly and could result in legal action. This is especially true for images that are shared on social media platforms, where millions of pictures are posted without credits.

Whether or not you must attribute the image depends on the specific copyright laws of the jurisdiction in which you are located and what kind of rights the image has under that law. If you are unsure of your jurisdiction, it is always a good idea to ask your copyright librarian for guidance.

Attribution typically occurs within the body of the text, but can be included on the cover page or even as a caption to an image. The attribution needs to include the figure number, title and notes (e.g., ‘Image Source: FLickR (URL), copyright by X, licensed under cc-by 4.0’).

When using photos that are licensed for commercial use, it is important to mention any changes you made to the photo. This can be done by mentioning the license in which it is published and adding any other information that may be necessary to make it clear what you have changed about the photo.

In addition, when using Creative Commons licensed images, it is a good idea to indicate which license you are using so that others can avoid copyright infringement. You should also check the license for any additional restrictions that the creators have put on the material and be sure to abide by them.

You should also be aware that public domain images are not copyrighted, either because they were created by the owner who has died or who has relinquished their copyright. These are often free to use and are automatically entered into the public domain when you copy them, but it is a good practice to add attribution to them.

For most online image databases, attribution is required to give correct provenance to the image and to ensure that other users can use it properly. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. You can find these by locating the image and looking for a special copyright statement or rights statement beneath it. These statements are typically provided by the image database to inform their community about any restrictions and how to re-use the images.

Fair Use

If you’re using a copyrighted image in a blog post, article or other piece of content, you may want to know whether the use is considered fair. This is important because if you do not give credit, you could be committing a violation of someone else’s rights.

Fair Use is a legal theory that allows non-profit, educational, and research uses of copyrighted materials without infringing the copyright owner’s right to profit from their work. It is based on four factors that must be weighed and balanced in order to determine whether the use is fair.

The first factor is the extent to which the use of the material is transformative. The second factor is the amount of the work used. The third factor is whether the use of the work changes the way it is perceived by the public. The fourth factor is whether the use serves a purpose that was not intended by the creator of the work.

Courts have often interpreted these four factors in ways that are not always clear. However, there are some key decisions that have led to a general understanding of what is and is not considered fair use.

Generally speaking, most of the times that the use of a work is not considered fair use are when the original creator of the work is no longer alive and the user does not have permission to use it. Also, if the use of the work would cause substantial harm to the original creator’s reputation or to their business, the use is likely not fair.

If you are unsure of whether your use of a copyrighted image is fair, you can contact the photographer to ask for permission. You can also try to use a Creative Commons license, which is a licensing agreement that allows you to use the image under certain specific conditions.

It is also important to remember that many copyrighted images are available for free under public domain laws. This is because the original artist has either passed away or voluntarily relinquished the copyright of their work, making it freely available for all to use.


When you use an image on your website, social media or elsewhere online, you must give credit to the owner of that work. This is because a copyrighted image is protected by copyright law. If you don’t give it the proper credit, you can be held liable for copyright infringement, which can lead to serious legal repercussions.

The first step in giving credit is to ask the owner for permission and to follow their rules on using their image. This can be done in a number of ways, including asking them to sign an image credit agreement. It is also possible to find images that are free of charge for use, but you still need to check their terms and conditions to make sure you are not infringing on their rights.

You can also find copyrighted images that are in public domain, which means they’re no longer under any copyright protection and can be used without attribution or permission. In addition, you can find some images that are licensed through Creative Commons (CC) licenses that allow users to freely share and use the image under certain guidelines.

However, CC images can be tricky to use, as they require different terms and conditions from other types of image licenses. These licenses can range from “non-commercial use” to “attribution required.”

If you’re unsure of how to give credit, try checking out our Finding Images guide, which offers tips and sources for finding a wide variety of high-quality images that are available under different licenses. The more you know about the different types of licenses, the easier it will be to find the right ones for your project.

Another way to give credit is by adding a link to the source of the image you used in your content, such as the photographer’s name or the website where the photo was originally posted. This will help people learn about the artist’s work and will also encourage them to support that artist’s future projects.

You can also use a copyrighted image for educational purposes. This type of use is often referred to as “fair use,” and it allows you to copy a small amount of the work (typically one or two images) for scholarly purposes such as teaching, paper-writing or research. Using a lot of the work or creating a large compilation will reduce your chances of winning a fair use claim, so be sure to consider this before using a copyrighted image in your next project.

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