Week 3 (25/2): Copyright matters!

Photo by Lucy Bridges


At #teamTAFE you’ll hear this over and over again: copyright matters! There are laws in place to ensure we don’t just use whatever content we find online. Admittedly those laws are complex because they can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Many countries use their own copyright laws to determine whether or not a violation has occurred. You can read more about international copyright law here.

TLDR: Assume you cannot steal borrow the stuff you find online.

Because the internet is such a visual medium, it’s always advisable to add images, illustrations, videos, and other visual elements to your posts.

It’s REALLY important to understand that you cannot legally Google Image search and right click – save the best pic there.

Don’t do it!

Ideally, you should take your own photos or create your own graphics. But sometimes you can’t.

Maybe the subject of your story lives overseas. Maybe they don’t want to be photographed.

Or they could be super high profile, so you can’t just photograph them. (Hello, Beyonce, why won’t you answer my calls?)

You *can* search for images and other content licensed under Creative Commons. CC licences aren’t all the same, so make sure you’re across the different rules, details here.

What else?

A good first place to start to look for CC-licenced photographs is the CC licence search. Enter your search term and click on the site you want to use for your search.

You can also find CC-licenced images directly on Flickr and DeviantArt. Flickr allows you to narrow your search to CC-licenced images only, by going into options under the ‘advanced search’ link. DeviantArt contributors provide a download link next to their work if they agree to its use elsewhere.

Getty Images also has a bank of images that you can use, so long as:

  • It’s not used in advertising
  • It’s not used for a magazine or book cover
  • It’s embedded and properly attributed.

How do I use Getty? Click here

MUST DO: Crediting creators

Check out the caption attached to the pic at the top of this post. This is the way we’d recommend you credit the creator of the CC images you use, i.e. with the name of the person, a note that it’s Creative Commons (CC), and the source of the image. It’s very good manners to include a hyperlink to the page you downloaded the image from.


Copyright covers almost every type of creative work, including music and videos. You can’t just use any music you like to accompany a film you’ve made. Read more here: YouTube: What is Fair Use?

There are also CC music archives and a filtered search on YouTube where you can find material for audio and video stories. We also have a library of production music available, where we’ve bought a licence to use the music for exactly these sorts of purposes.


Write a story, or post a story that you’ve already written.

Post it on your WordPress site with a suitable photo that you can legally use!

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