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A celebration of CC0 images! No rights reserved

88x31It’s been a little secret of mine for a while.  When I create presentations these days, my first choices are to either buy my images inexpensively from Canva or to tap CC0.  For those of us who regularly create presentations or posters or visual communication products, CC0 artists offer a serious and incredibly generous gift.

The number of Creative Commons 0 (CC0) , the most liberal of the Creative Commons license options, has been growing. And each time I search, it seems the images I find on CC0 portals are of increasingly higher quality and variety.

CC0 means the item has no rights reservedCC0 content does not require attribution. Others may use and adapt these items without crediting the creator.

For students, CC0 will likely be a celebration.  But you will want to explain the background and how CC0 differs from the other flavors of CC licenses, all of which require, at very least, attribution.  That attribution will still be necessary in many other situations.

The Creative Commons site explains:

CC0 enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright- or database-protected content to waive those interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

In contrast to CC’s licenses that allow copyright holders to choose from a range of permissions while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers yet another choice altogether – the choice to opt out of copyright and database protection, and the exclusive rights automatically granted to creators – the “no rights reserved” alternative to our licenses.

CC0 is different from public domain in that CC0 is for works that are still subject to copyright. Public domain is intended to be applied to works for which are already free of copyright restrictions.

While CC0 sites do not require attribution–creators have ceded rights to their work–you may certainly choose to credit the artist.
This Symbaloo curates my personal favorite CC0 portals.
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Please note: I cannot guarantee that every image on every one of these site absolulely attached to a CC0 license.  Consider this a starting point.  Do your own due diligence as you explore and use the images you select.
Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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