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How to tell if an image is copyrighted?

I get to make a children s book for a school project. I plan to use Photoshop to make the book. How can I tell if I can use an image from the internet? I cannot use any copyrighted material. Thanks

6 Answers

William Li
William Li
Courses Plus Student 26,867 Points

Hello, Tristan Gaebler

On top of the 2 great sites Marcus and Ede have provided to search for images licensed under CC; I'd like to add one more to the suggestion poll.


TinEye is a reverse image search engine. It finds out where an image came from, how it is being used, if modified versions of the image exist, or if there is a higher resolution version.

TinEye is the tool I use quite a bit as a web developer, it helps me get an idea of how much an image is being used on the web. In your circumstance, it can be helpful too in tracing down the original source of the image.

Hope it helps.

Hey Tristan,

To mitigate any of those problems, I would use an excellent site known as Wikimedia. It contains millions of images that are licensed under creative commons (meaning that you can freely distribute and use them without permission from the author, or attribution to the author, in most cases). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page. Just check what the licenses are for a photo before using them.

Hi Tristan,

Yep, I second the previous comments. Another great resource serving the same purpose as wikimedia is flickr. Just be sure to search for images under the creative commons regulations -


All the best,


Clinton Hopgood
Clinton Hopgood
7,825 Points

Assume it is unless the source advises otherwise.

Thanks for all the replies. Those look like awesome resources. One more question. Is it still copyright, to take a copyrighted image and alter it?

William Li
William Li
Courses Plus Student 26,867 Points

Is it still copyright, to take a copyrighted image and alter it?

Generally speaking, yes, as a matter of fact, unless the image is copyrighted under a very liberal licence, e.g. Creative Common, you are forbidden to modify the image in the first place, let alone changing its copyright info.

Do you guys know if I can use images from Dribble.com?

I have no idea about manipulation of copyrighted images. But, to answer this question, Dribbble maintains in their terms and conditions that all images on Dribbble are copyright of their respective owners. So, again, this goes back to copyrighted images. If you're going to try to use an image from Dribbble, be sure to contact the author of the image and see if they'll allow you and if so, what their conditions are.

Thanks for the response! I'll have to do some research about manipulated copyright images.