As a blogger, I search Flickr and other photo sites for Creative Commons commercial licensed content on a daily basis. I like Google’s image search feature but the ability to search Creative Commons and other licensed content was a missing. Today, Google is launching the ability to create and advanced search for images that you can use for free and that have been tagged with licenses like Creative Commons. Searches will also include images and art that have been tagged with other licenses, like GNU Free Documentation license, or are in the public domain.
For me, the new feature is already listed under the advanced image search page. Under the “Usage rights” section, you can select the type of license you’d like to search for, such as those marked for reuse or even for commercial reuse with modification. Google says they will slowly be rolling out this to everyone throughout the day.
Unfortunately, Google warns that its up to you to verify that the licensing information is accurate and says that they can’t guarantee that the content that is found under a search is in the public domain,or available under the license.
The nice thing about the search capability is that it allows you to do a licensed image search for Flickr, and a variety of other sites and sources, as opposed to searching for content only on Flickr. Yahoo has had the capability to filter image searches by licensed content for some time, but Yahoo’s licensed content search appears to pull images mostly from Flickr, where Google provides a diverse selection of sources of licensed images. I wonder when Bing will jump on the licensed content bandwagon?