How Can Satire Editors Get Pictures Without Infringing the Law?

Everyone knows you can’t just pick a picture off the internet and steal it for your website.

But where can you get high-quality photos without paying a fortune?

Here are three options for satire bloggers and editors.

Pixabay

Pixabay photos are stunningly beautiful, and this is one of the very best places for public domain photos on the net.

This should be your first stop!

https://pixabay.com/

Flickr

Flickr is a very famous photo site.

They have a special public domain group for photos with very few to no restrictions.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons, not to be confused with Wikipedia (far less Wikileaks!) is worth a look as well.

I’m pretty sure the threefold distinction is pretty intuitive, but just in case a few of you are that little bit slow…

(Never say never!)

You can compare the three descriptions here.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a media file repository making available public domain and freely-licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone, in their own language. It acts as a common repository for the various projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, but you do not need to belong to one of those projects to use media hosted here. The repository is created and maintained not by paid archivists, but by volunteers. The scope of Commons is set out on the project scope pages.

Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world and hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikileaks

WikiLeaks is a multi-national media organization and associated library. It was founded by its publisher Julian Assange in 2006.
WikiLeaks specializes in the analysis and publication of large datasets of censored or otherwise restricted official materials involving war, spying and corruption. It has so far published more than 10 million documents and associated analyses.
“WikiLeaks is a giant library of the world’s most persecuted documents. We give asylum to these documents, we analyze them, we promote them and we obtain more.” – Julian Assange, Der Spiegel Interview

See? That wasn’t too difficult now, was it!

Please be aware that a very large proportion of the images on Wikimedia Commons are on a more restrictive licence than public domain; ‘Creative Commons’ licences appear in several flavours.

Safe or sorry?

The decision is in your hands alone!

And this brings me to my very final point.

On every one of sites I’ve mentioned just now (not just Wikimedia commons!), be sure to check the website for licence information. As I’ve just reminded you, there are many different kinds of licences out there. So picking a website with public domain photos doesn’t resolve you of the responsibility to do your research!

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