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Copyright: Images



The following resources will assist you in using images in your reports, presentations and learning tools while complying with Canadian Copyright Law.

Please note that it is the individual’s responsibility to clarify each collection’s terms of use.

Flickr Commons is a resource where libraries, museums and archives have combined their publicly held image collections.  For Creative Commons-licensed work visit Flickr Creative Commons.

Getty Museum Open Content Program is a selection of freely downloadable high-resolution images from the museum’s collection. Select the “Open Content Images” from the list of links.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has allowed all images of public-domain works in The Met collection, more than 375,000 images, to use, share, and remix—without restriction.

The Noun Project is a collection of icons and symbols that are Creative Commons-licensed. Attribution must be paid to the creator of the icon or symbol.

Wikimedia Commons provides access to 18,000,000 freely downloadable media files.

Image Attribution

While the Copyright Act requires only the creator and source of the image to be cited, enough information should be available so that that it is easy for the reader to locate the source of the image as well as the image itself. There are also specific citation styles that you may be asked to follow (APA, MLA, and Chicago).

The following are examples of common citation styles that meet basic Copyright Act requirements.

Creative Commons-Licensed Images

All CC attributions should have the same basic information:

  • title of image
  • creator name
  • source of the image (usually in the form of a URL to image source page)
  • any copyright information included with image (such as a watermark)
  • CC license information (including link back to CC documentation page if possible)

Print and Electronic Publications

Must include:

  •  name of the creator
  •  title of the work (if possible)
  •  source of the image
For more in-depth information and examples of image citation, see the University of British Columbia's Image Citation Guide, on which the above information is based.

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