I am a software developer and i am working on a mobile app, in which i am using images. I took all these images from a website, and according to this website, they all have a Creative Commons Zero (CCO) license, so i am sure i can use them.

I ended up downloading them and using them in my mobile app. However i have a feeling that it's not enough.

Let's imagine someone wants to sue me saying the images i use don't have license, how can i proove him i am right ? Just sayin "i read the website and drag and dropped" seems a bit messy to me.

Is there any legal document i should do or any best practices, so i will be sure i won't get sued ?

I want to be sure i can proove i am in my right

  • Are you worried about the person who posted the material under the CC0 license pursuing you? Or are you worried that some other party (e.g. the actual copyright holder) tries to sue you, claiming that the CC0-licensed material was unauthorized? Note that CC0 license disclaims all warranties, and what you are after sounds like a warranty.
    – Brandin
    Jan 22, 2018 at 11:27
  • "I [read] the website and drag and dropped" - No, don't say this. Save the original file you downloaded (e.g. .zip file) and make sure it contains the license text (e.g. CC0) so that you can use it if you never need it. Don't assume that the Web site you downloaded it from will continue to offer that file indefinitely. Related: Who is responsible for proving the validity / invalidity of a license for a song should it be challenged?
    – Brandin
    Jan 22, 2018 at 11:33
  • @Brandin well i'm worried about both, i don't understand who will win if for example, an other party claim it was unauthorized. That's why i am looking for a warranty, your are right. So you think there is none :/ ?
    – HapinUse
    Jan 22, 2018 at 11:42
  • @Brandin i can only download the image, there is no license with it. How can i make a legal copy of the license, which is only displayed on the website ? (Ps thanks for correcting my spelling ^^)
    – HapinUse
    Jan 22, 2018 at 11:45
  • Getting the license text will depend on the Web site. For example, openclipart.org does not attach separate license texts for each image, but it has a separate License page that explains the license and gives the full text in a printable form. If it were me, I would archive that along with any images I used in case any questions arise later on. If you are making any money from your software (including ad revenue) it would probably be money well spent to have a copyright attorney review the content and licenses.
    – Brandin
    Jan 22, 2018 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


Only the copyright owner can grant an original licence (CC0 or otherwise). Some licences (like CC0) allow legitimate licence holders to grant licences also.

To be certain that you have a legitimate licence you must trace the work to the original copyright holder. For a photograph, the original copyright owner is the photographer or their employer if they were producing work for hire. Find them and follow the licence trail from them to you.

This is, of course, problematical. Anyone can say they own the copyright, indeed they may genuinely believe they do, however, they may be wrong. All you can do is make reasonable enquiries.

If you do this or legitimately try and fail to do this, and you’re wrong, then you have committed innocent infringement. In Australia this means you are not liable for damages, only an accounting of profits i.e. the copyright owner gets whatever profit you made off their work.

Of course, you can always take photographs yourself - then you know who the copyright holder is. Or buy a licence from a person who runs a legitimate photography business.

  • Thank you for these helpful informations, i have a better understanding now ^^
    – HapinUse
    Jan 23, 2018 at 11:49

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