Copyrighted Material and Non-Profits

Understanding the do’s and don’ts of sharing material on the internet can be tricky, however it is tremendously important to respect creative property and not infringe upon copyright and usage laws. This post explores the use of copyright material and is intended to be a resource for our new volunteers as they join us on the Volunteer Blog.

So the most important thing for you to know is that, generally speaking, the use of copyrighted material for non-profit educational use is permissible. What constitutes educational use is decided on a case-by-case basis, but it is unlikely that the use of images on Art Sphere’s blogs would be deemed as an outright breach of copyright. Since its a non-profit and the use is non-commercial, the worst case scenario is a cease and desist letter (asking you to take the photo down).

That being said, it is better to err towards caution and not use copyrighted material if at all possible. Getty has released millions of free photographs for non-commercial use on blogs via its Embed site. I actually called and spoke to a representative and confirmed that the photos are free as long as they’re embedded, that Art Sphere’s usage would be considered non-commercial, and that the type of activity you described fits their definition of blogging. Be aware that every photo taken from this site will have a Getty/photographer credit at the bottom of the image.
The steps to use Getty Embed are below (as figured out by me, not a company FAQ, so if there are any minor errors/differences I apologize).

  1. Go to
  2. Search for a photo. Once you’ve found a photo, click on it and a new screen should pop up
  1. On that screen, click the black and white embed button to the bottom right of the photo (next to the Twitter button): You’ll get a link that you can then copy and paste into the blog
  1. You’ll get a link that you can then copy and paste into the blog

Getty Screen Image

As far as I know, Getty’s images consist strictly of photographs. There are some other royalty-free image sites that have more than photographs, but the usage issues are slightly more complicated. As long as the blogger reads the usage rules of whatever site they use I don’t foresee any problems.

Probably the best site for free non-photographic images is the Wikimedia Commons: (

Their usage rules can be found at:

Also checkout:

–This information was graciously gathered for us by former ASI teacher Candice Carroll.

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