On the 9th Day of Copyright Christmas …

On the ninth day of Copyright Christmas, my true love gave to me: nine steps for creating a copyright compliant Christmas card, eight times you don’t need to ask permission to use copyright material, seven steps to protect work that I have createdsix submissions to the Productivity Commission Review of Intellectual Property five new information sheets from the Australian Copyright Council (ACC), four steps for using Readings Online self servicethree copyright news articles,  two quick and easy ways to get my subject readings ready for 2017 and 1 copyright compliant video on Youtube.

A quick and easy way to spread Christmas cheer is to send a Christmas card – either an e-card or you could make your own with some of the great Christmas images available on the web.  But how can you make sure that the image that you use is copyright compliant? Easy!

1. Open Google and enter your search terms


2. When the Google results are displayed, click on Search Tools and then Usage rights to limit the results to images that are available for re-use


3.  Choose the most appropriate usage type for your Christmas card.  For example if you are planning to modify the image or use it commercially make sure you choose a licence that allows you to modify the image or use it commercially.

4. Scroll through the image results until you find one that you like.  Click on the image to see it in full and for the full details of the image.


5. Click on Visit Page to see the image on it’s source page.  This will also display the licensing information for the image and you can make sure that you can use it for your Christmas card.


6.  Once you have made sure that the image is suitable, click on the download button.

7.  Select the appropriate size of the image for what you need and click on download and when prompted save the image to your computer.  You can also rename the file if you wish.



8.  Make a note of the title and creator information so that you can properly attribute the image.  If you click on the share button, you can usually find a short URL for the image which you can copy and paste to make it easier to link back to the image.  Make a note also of the Creative Commons information as you will need to include that in the citation.


9. Include a citation for your image with the Creative Commons licence information.

  • If using the image online you can create a citation with a link like this:  Christmas Angel by Annca.  CC0 Public Domain
  • If using the image in print, you can cite the image like this Christmas Angel by Annca https://pixabay.com/photo-1073197/.  Used under a CC0 Public Domain licence https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/
  • You can include your citation close to your image or any where else suitable on your work, so long as it is easy for someone to find the citation information.  For example on a print Christmas card, it might be more appropriate to include the citation on the inside of the card or on the back.
  • Note under the Creative Commons 0 licence, no attribution is required.  However, we still recommend that you attribute the image as it makes easier for people to find the image if they would also like to use it.

Hopefully, you will have some fun creating some Christmas cards, but don’t just limit yourself to Christmas cards.  These tips work equally well for other Christmas craft activities – let us know in the comments what other ways you found to use copyright compliant images!

2 Responses to “On the 9th Day of Copyright Christmas …”

  1. Excellent and informative post! I’d never even noticed there was a reuse filter in Google Image search.
    I’d like to see this expanded into a guide focussed on web usage, especially how to adequately provide attribution – something we struggle with.

    1. Helen Thomson says:

      Thanks for the feedback and the guide suggestion – we will definitely see what we can do about drafting a guide on web usage.