Some Adobe software, services and applications include integrated image search features, which let you search for images on websites like Google, Flickr, 500px and the Noun Project and import them directly into your own project or workspace.


To help our users respect the intellectual property rights of other photographers and creative professionals, we typically incorporate Creative Commons filters to help ensure that we return only image results from these other websites that have been tagged as licensed “for commercial use with modification.”  This means you should be able to reuse an image you find this way, for personal or commercial use, as long as you:


  • Verify that the license label is legitimate;
  • Check the exact terms of reuse stated in the license (for example, most licenses require that you give credit to the image creator); and
  • Comply with the license terms.


Alternatively, you might explore whether your intended use fits within the fair use exception to copyright laws. Or, if you are outside of the United States, check the copyright laws of your own country to make sure your use is in conformance with them.


Adobe has no way of knowing whether the Creative Commons license information conveyed by Google, Flickr, the Noun Project or others is accurate. That’s why you need to follow up with the person who posted the image and confirm the accuracy of the license information yourself.


In some limited circumstances, we return all image results as the default — as opposed to only content tagged as Creative Commons licensed.  We do this only where the intended and likely use of the application or service is to create something that is inherently or almost certainly fair use.  When we return all images, instead of just a subset of Creative Commons-tagged images, we’ll let you know through the labels you’ll see at the top of your image results.  But it is still your responsibility to make sure you use other people’s content in a manner consistent with applicable copyright laws.


To learn more about usage rights, you can read about Creative Commons licensing, review Google’s information about usage rights, or review Flickr’s Creative Commons page.


Thanks for respecting the rights of creative professionals everywhere.


The Adobe Copyright Agent


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