FAQ/ Terms of use

We receive a lot of questions asking if you have permission to use the photos in your project. Here, we explain the difference between a Commercial Creative Commons License and a Non-Commercial Creative Commons License and how you can tell if you are able to use the image in your project.

On every result page, the first two rows are 'sponsored' images from Shutterstock. So, if you are interesting in browsing through Shutterstock's options, click one of those images. The rows underneath are not sponsored and use Flickr's API.

By filtering by license on PhotoPin, you will be able to see which images are eligible to be used in commercial (making money) or non-commercial ways. Both commercial and non-commercial need to have attribution - which means, Creative Commons defines "appropriate credit" as (a) the name of the creator and attribution parties, (b) a copyright notice, (c) a license notice, (d) a disclaimer notice, and (e) a link to the material Both licenses lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work.

According to Creative Commons, "commercial" is defined as "primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary gain". If you are using an image in an educational or research setting for limited non-profit uses ( you can't make a handout with it, for example) you can use the image. However, you cannot just print the image for decorative or personal use - that is considered theft.

Now that you know what the difference is between the Commercial and Non-Commercial Creative Commons License, let's walk through using an image you have found on PhotoPin:

Step by Step Guide (Once you select an image on PhotoPin):

Step 1: Select Image Size

Faq step 1

Step 2: Click on photo to see license info - this will take you to the artist's Flickr page -license info is under the "date taken" on the right side and will have a link to the Creative Commons website explaining what attribution is required and any other restrictions of said photo.

Faq step 2

-There are 6 types of licenses - each link will explain what you can, and cannot do under each type.

Faq license table

Step 3: Grab HTML for Attribution

Faq step 3

That's it! Hopefully this guide has helped you understand when and where you can use images you have found on PhotoPin.

Still confused?
Check out this Infographic that explains "The Laws, Terms, and Ethics for Using Copyrighted Images." It helps you answer the harder questions by explaining what exactly Copyright, Fair Use, Creative Commons, and Public Domain are.ab HTML for Attribution

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)

PhotoPin.com is an online service provider as defined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). We care about copyright violation will respond to all notices of alleged copyright infringement following the DMCA policy.

If you believe that content accessible through this website infringes a copyright you own or if you are authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner, please contact us. When contacting us, please notify us in writing to the DMCA agent below via email or regular mail.

For us to take action, we need the following information, so please include this information as accurately and thorough as possible. Please include in the subject line "DMCA Notice" of the email or in the title of the letter and make sure it contains the following information:

  1. Identification of the copyrighted artwork claimed to have been infringed (if you have multiple you can include them all in one notice in a list form);
  2. Identification of the material that is claimed to be infringing in such a way that to permit PhotoPin.com to clearly locate the specific material. The best way to do this is to include the specific URL(s) of the pages where the material can be seen. Additionally, please clearly identify where and what on that page is what you are claiming to be infringing;
  3. All important information needed so that we can contact you, including but not limited to your name, email address, mailing address and telephone number;
  4. A statement that you have a good faith belief that use of the material is not authorized by the creator, copyright owner, its agent, or the law;
  5. A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that you are authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright that is infringed;
  6. Your electronic signature or a physical signature along with your name printed legibly.

Written or email notice needs to be sent to our designated DMCA agent below:

DMCA Agent: Richard Fontenot
1126 Grider Pond Rd
Bowling Green, KY 42104
Info [at] pinwhale.com

Once a complete and proper notice of claimed copyright infringement is received by PhotoPin.com, it is our policy to do one or more of the following:

  1. To remove or disable access to the content identified in the notice of claimed infringement;
  2. To notify the content provider, member or user that the material has been removed due to copyright infringement;
  3. To terminate the membership of account holders who are repeat infringers.

DMCA Counter-Notice Procedure

If a PhotoPin.com user believes that the removed content is not infringing, the user may send an email with reference "DMCA Counter-Notice" to info [at] pinwhale.com containing the following information:

  1. Your PhotoPin account name, related email, address and telephone number and a statement that you consent to the jurisdiction of Federal District Court for the judicial district in which you reside (San Francisco, CA if your address is outside of the US).
  2. Identification of the content that has been removed;
  3. A statement under penalty of perjury that you have a good faith belief that the material was removed as a result of misidentification;
  4. Your physical or electronic signature.

If a DMCA counter-notice is received, PhotoPin.com will send a copy of the counter-notice to the complaining party. Unless the copyright owner files an action seeking a court order against the content provider, the removed content may be restored in 30 business days or more after receipt of the counter-notice, at PhotoPin.com's sole discretion.

DMCA Information

For more information on DMCA, please visit the following websites.

You can download the text of the DMCA here: http://copyright.gov/legislation/hr2281.pdf

You can download a summary of the DMCA at: http://copyright.gov/legislation/dmca.pdf

You can find the U.S. federal copyright code here: http://copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html

More information on copyright laws can be at: