Images and copyright

It is very easy to search for images in Flickr or Google, but it can be difficult to decipher whether you are allowed to use the images you find.

If you want to be certain that you can use the images you find, you can take advantage of the following services free (or almost free) of charge:

  • Creative Commons is a non-profit organization which aims to facilitate the sharing of material in a legal and transparent manner. Creative Commons provides search features for when you are exclusively looking for free material. When you find an image through Creative Commons, different symbols tell you, what you can do with the photo.
  • Everystockphoto is a search engine for images with Creative Commons (CC) licenses.
  • Freeimages is a search engine that offers 400.000 free stock photos.
  • TU Berlin Architecture Museum Collection: Catalog records for more than 136,000 drawings, prints, and photographs, most of which have digital images available. Of these images, more than 77.000 are in the public domain and free to download and use without restrictions.
  • Fotolia offers over 34 mil. royalty free stock photos that can be bought for small amounts.
  • Flickr is a digital tool for managing your own photos and sharing with others.

Note: if you want to search for CC images in Flickr, select advanced search and tick the box Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content

Other useful databases without royalty free images

  •  Danish architecture from the 20th and 21st century documented by the library at the The Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. The images are free of charge, but permission for use has to be given.
  • Cities and Buildings database:  An image database with app. 10.000 images of buildings from around the world. The database is driven by the library at Washington University.

More about copyrights

Read more about how to deal with images and copyrights when you are a student or employee at the school.