Putting Creative Commons image search in the heart of your blog

A Perfect Morning at Glacier National Park
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

It’s a striking image, I hope you agree. What’s more the creator of the image has kindly licenced it with a Creative Commons licence to enable me to use it in my blog without having to ask his permission as you can see from the image attribution underneath the picture. There are a number of image search engines that allow you to easily search for Creative Commons content (sound and video, as well as images), but for a long time I have been an advocate of Compfight as it’s simple to use and the safe search setting seems pretty robust. Compfight uses Flickr as its database of images (billions of images, many of which are CC licenced) so the first thing to say is, if Flickr is blocked in your school, stop reading here, get it unblocked then come back.

Flickr is unblocked? Cool. Until now you had to go to the Compfight website, do the search and then go to the Flickr page to either download or embed the chosen image (and children were apt to forget to set the search setting to Creative Commons only). This is fine and it teaches children a lot of commonly applied web skills such as downloading and embedding, but could sometimes be quite time consuming. Luckily, Compfight have released an excellent WordPress plugin that puts the image search straight into your post editor and allows you to drop an image like the one above straight in to your post with a few simple key strokes. The video below shows you how.

Please note, this plugin is currently available for blog admins only, we are looking to see if we can make it available on children’s logins, so for the moment you’ll have to teach them to use the Compfight website.



About john sutton

Founder of Creative Blogs.

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Creative Blogs are the UK's leading educational blogging specialists. We build Wordpress Multisite blog platforms for schools.

4 Responses to “Putting Creative Commons image search in the heart of your blog”

  1. Julia Skinner April 30, 2012 10:35 pm

    I have a CCL on my blog but someone took a photo. Is there anything you can do apart from putting a water mark on it?


  2. John Sutton May 1, 2012 6:38 am

    If you have put a CC licence on your blog then “taking” a photo is fine provided they have adhered to the CC licence you have stipulated. i.e. if you put a CC licence that required them to attribute your image then that is what they must do and you can ask them to put an attribution or or take the photo down. If you don’t want anyone to use your work then don’t put a CC licence on it, then copyright is implied.


  3. Neil May 2, 2012 7:08 pm

    Thanks for this post. I have just stated blogging, having avidly followed many blogs for several years. This clears up a few questions I had, as I wasn’t sure how to properly attribute creative commons images. I’ve used photos from wikipedia before and haven’t added an attribution, should they be credited in the same way? I had been using the zamanta plugin, but found it quite annoying, your plugin looks a lot more user friendly.

    I agree that this is something children should know about. Time and again I see teachers use watermarked images in the classroom and I don’t like the message that this sends out to children. It’s important that children develop an understanding of ownership on the internet.


  4. John Sutton May 2, 2012 7:25 pm

    Thanks for the comment Neil. The contributors to Wikipedia stipulate the licence restrictions (if any) on images they upload, so, yes, they should be attributed, and yes, you should read the licence.


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