Ballotpedia:Finding images tutorial

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This Finding images tutorial is a guide to finding images that can be licensed as public domain or under the GFDL license.

Create an image

  • If you have access to the item or entity you want an image of and a digital camera, you can take a photo yourself.
  • You own the copyright to any photo you personally create.
  • When you upload the photo to Ballotpedia, you can then say on the image upload page what copyright license you want.
  • You can also draw and scan images.

Look for GFDL/CC-SA images

  • Go to Wikimedia Commons and search for images. Make sure to read the licensing status of any image you find there. Some are in the public domain, while others are available under various kinds of licensing.
  • If you use an image you find at Wikimedia Commons and it is not in the public domain, when you upload it here you must include the information about what license it is available under, and observe any and all attribution requirements.

Check government sources

  • Works of the United States are often in the public domain.
  • An easy way to find such images is to search with the restriction to site:.gov OR site:.mil.
  • Vary your search terms for best results.

Ask for permission

  • If you can't find a public domain photo, you can ask a copyright holder for permission to use their image.
  • Write an email to the person or organization who owns the copyright:
  • Introduce yourself
  • Tell them which image you want to use, including a link to where you found it so the person you're writing to can tell for sure which image you wish touse.
  • Say where you want to use the image and include a link to the page where you want to use it.
  • Tell the person or organization that if they allow you to use the image, that doesn't mean they are releasing it into the public domain. They can, instead, decide whether they want anyone other than you to be able to use the photo.
  • Offer to credit the copyright holder/photographer on the image page
  • Offer to add a link to the copyright holder website on the image page and in the caption on articles where the image is used.
  • Express your thanks.

See also