I am a young writer and I need free photos of girls's body ( so with faces covered ) for the cover of my erotic book similar to 50 shades of grey.

Can I use the photos of flickr under this licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ for my erotic book ?

Or are there some restrictions for erotic purpose?

  • Photography SE cross-post
    – unor
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 13:19
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it belongs on photo.stackexchange.com Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 15:24
  • 7
    This is a question about the legal implications of a particular copyright license. It belongs here, and i will vote to reopen if it is closed. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 16:29
  • The user has cross-posted an identical question there already, so clearly they think the same. Regardless of which one it belongs on most, it should not be placed on both simultaneously, as per standard policy for SE.
    – user4657
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 18:42

2 Answers 2


Many jurisdictions recently created "revenge porn" laws which criminalize the publication of erotic photos without the model's consent. So if you take erotic images from around the web which are claimed to be CC-BY licensed by the anonymous users who uploaded them, then you might put yourself into danger in several regards:

  • The one who posted the image might have stolen the work. The actual photographer might not have given consent to their work getting published under CC-BY.
  • The model might not have given consent to have images of their naked body being used in that way.
  • In the worst case scenario, the model might even turn out to be underage, which can put you into a massive amount of trouble.

I would try to get image material from a reputable stock image source where they can offer me a guarantee that they took care of all these legal pitfalls. This might cost me a bit, though. But it is not even that expensive. Shutterstock, for example, has a huge selection of images which might be appropriate for your purpose (just search for "nude woman" and you get literally thousands of images I could imagine on the cover of an erotic book) and their pricing is very affordable.

  • what happen if I use a photo from a site like Shutterstock but the model don't know that I am using her photo for my erotic book? Thanks
    – xRobot
    Commented Nov 11, 2018 at 17:11

Assuming that the images are in fact released by the copyright holder under the CC_BY 2.0 license, and not under the CC_BY_NC or CC_BY_SA license, you are free to use the image on a book cover. That the book is erotic makes no difference.

You must attribute the cover image to the original creator, as specified in the license, unless the creator has indicated that no attribution should be provided.

You must not state or imply that the original creator has in any way endorsed your book or you.

Be careful to check that the person releasing the image is in fact the copyright holder. It is not unknown for someone to upload someone else's image and claim to release it under a CC license. Obviously a "license" from someone who had no rights does not give you or anyone any rights. Just as buying stolen goods from a thief does not give you title to them.

It is your responsibility to confirm that the person who released the image had the right to do so.

  • OP should also make sure the appropriate attribution and license information is shown in the book. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 17:10
  • @David Thornley: Quite true. i have edited that into my answer. Thanks for the reminder. Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 18:13
  • How can I check that the person releasing the image is in fact the copyright holder? I contacted him but I have not received any reply. Thanks :)
    – xRobot
    Commented Nov 8, 2018 at 21:17
  • @xRobot: You might want to look at law.stackexchange.com/questions/33363/… and its answer, and any later poster answers it gets. Commented Nov 10, 2018 at 0:24
  • @xRobot: See also this question and its answer Commented Nov 12, 2018 at 23:23

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