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