Images and Photos made available under a creative commons license are free to use, with varying restrictions. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable owners to modify copyright terms to best suit their needs.
You can search most image databases for creative commons licensed images.
Image by Creative Commons - Creative Commons, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20727292
To “use” a copyrighted work, you must either have the copyright holder’s permission, or you must qualify for a legal exception such as “fair use.” Fair Use is the legal, unauthorized use of copyrighted material, allowable under certain circumstances. Many educational and classroom use falls under fair use, but there are many images use cases that can be fair.
Fair use (Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright code) provides parameters for the legal use of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder.
Four factors for determining fair use eligibility:
Images in the Public Domain are no longer under copyright protection and can be used freely. In general images published before 1923 are in the public domain in the United States Learn more about copyright terms
There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain: