How To Make Manga by Digital

If you fail, you may be sued! How to use / find copyright-free materials


For blogs and SNS, I think that many people search the Internet for free images that can be used without permission (so-called copyright-free images).

If you use Google Search, flickr, image distribution site etc., you can easily find a lot of copyright-free images.

However, there are examples that were sued by using copyright-free images. We need to be careful

But please be relieved. We only need to know simple things. This article summarizes what to pay attention to when using copyright-free images.

Classifications of copyright free

Define "copyright free" as "you do not have permission from the author."

There are several Classifications of "copyright free".

CC License

The representative rule of notation of copyright-free type is "CC Liense = Creative Commons License".

This is an international notation rule on Internet copyright. When the condition of the following item is attached, the mark of that item is displayed.

  • BY: Attribution = Must display credits
  • NC: Non-Commercial = Prohibited commercial use
  • ND: No-Derivs = Prohibited Remix
  • SA: Share-Alike

I think that it is the fourth "Share-Alike" that is a bit hard to understand.

This means that you must make the same license for works made using that material.

For example, when drawing a picture using the material of the license "BY-SA"

The painting must also be licensed as "BY-SA". Although it is my work, it is that you should not change the license.

Needless to say, the credit in this case is not you. It is the author of the material you used.

Credit required for CC license!

There are 6 kinds of combination of CC licenses. Author credit is required for all combinations. → Refer to site of Creative Commons

All material of CC license needs credit notation!

I think that it is caused by the absence of the credit notation in the "example sued with copyright-free image".

"Public domain" requires no credit!

There are many copyright-free materials that do not need credit notation.

They are called "public domains". Most of the images that can be downloaded on the free image site are this type.

If you do not want credit notation, you need to use this type of material.

Credit notation may be impossible in some cases

I use copyright-free material for manga's scene painting. Therefore, I can not write credit.

Credit notation at the end of manga is not enough. We have to figure out which image is who's work.

I cut and paste the materials, so credit notation is almost impossible.

So I do not want to write credit, so be sure to search for "public domain" material.

Below are the contents for those who do not want credit notation.

Should check if credit notation is necessary

Also check Google search!

If you use Google image search well, you can narrow down the search results to copyright-free material only.

However, the condition that can be specified is whether it is commercially available or modifiable. In other words, it is unclear whether credit notation is necessary or not.

So it is better to check the original image site and see if credit notation is necessary.

Flicker images are CC license

With flickr, you can search images by specifying the type of "CC license".

However, all images are "CC license". That is, credit notation is required for all images.

Also check royalty-free sites

For image sites that can be downloaded royalty-free, in most cases credit notation is unnecessary.

However, just to be sure, you should check each site you use.

Paid images almost require credit

For paid images, credit notation is required in most cases.

It is almost impossible to use it as a material for manga.

Also check the image of Wikipedia

The image of Wikipedia is basically copyright free.

There are images that require credit notation and images that do not require credit. The way of confirmation is as follows.

First, click the image you want to check. Then, it becomes the page as follows. ↓



At the red arrow, the sign of the Creative Commons is written. Here you can check if this image is public domain.



↑ "Public Domein" is written. This means that it is an unnecessary image of credit notation.

In the case of the public domain, a symbol with a hatched "C" or a symbol written as "PD" in the circle is attached.

What is written "CC" in the circle is a symbol of "Creative Commons". In this case, it means that credit notation is necessary.


As mentioned above, there are several types of copyright free. Please note the following points.

  • Does it need credit notation?
  • Is it commercially available?
  • Is it allowed for remixes?
  • Is it "Share-Alike"?

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