Images from the web

You can search for images in several ways on the web, from general search engines with an image search function to stock photo websites for browsing and indexing images.

If you have an image on your hard drive and want to know where it actually comes from, you can do a reverse image search to find out.

In addition, the Hanze Library also offers a number of databases with images, which are excellent for educational use.

Images labeled for reuse

  • a work with a Creative Commons license

By adding a Creative Commons license to their work, the copyright holder can make clear to everyone under what conditions the work may be used without permission from the copyright holder. 

The copyright holder can give in advance permission to others:

- to copy his work,

- to share it with others,

- to edit it, remix and build upon,

- and to do all this commercially or non-commercially within the boundaries of copyright law.

The options for use are more or less extensive depending on the CC-licence used by the copyright holder.

Want to know more about the specific CC-licenses? Click here!


How can I find these images on the web?

To find the images that are labeled for reuse, you can filter your search results by usage rights.

If you choose the option 'Creative Commons licenses', the search engine then only supplies the images placed on the internet with a CC license. 


  • a work in public domain

The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.


There are two tools to indicate that a work belongs to the public domain: the CC0 statement and Public Domain Mark.

- CC0 = "No Rights Reserved"

means that the copyright holder has renounced copyright (as far as legally possible).

For example, the Dutch national government lists the content of its websites (unless stated otherwise) under CC0.

- Public Domain Mark = "No Known Copyright"

enables works that are no longer restricted by copyright to be marked as such in a standard and simple way, making them easily discoverable and available to others. 
Public domain marked works can be used by anyone for any purpose.

Right to quote

It is possible, just like with articles or other (parts of) text, to copy (a part of) a copyright-protected image, photo, drawing, painting, or other images, including films, with acknowledgment of the source.

When quoting copyrighted material, permission is not required from the copyright holder(s) and no fees have to be paid to them. The condition is that specific requirements must be met.

The quotation must:

  1. serve a purpose; the quotation must be used as notification or review in an academic paper or for a similar purpose;
  2. be proportionate; you should not quote more than necessary;
  3. state the source and creator’s name;
  4. come from a rightfully published source.

The use of an image as decoration therefore does not fall under the right to quote images.

Hanze Library databases

The Hanze Library has a number of databases with images in its collection.

The images can be used in education under different conditions.

For the conditions, see the relevant database: Britannica Image Quest or Art & Architecture Source.

Related information