I am designing a poster for my school competition but I am concern about the legality regarding the usage of online pictures. Most of them are under CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 and I know what each term roughly means.

However I am still very new to all these and will like to confirm that using them for my poster design competition is considered sharing and not commercial.

In addition, under attribution (BY), do I need to give credit to the pictures on my poster? I think it will look really unglamorous to include the source for each of these pictures on my poster and wondering whether I can get away legally without including them.


A poster for a school contest where the poster is not being sold, nor used to advertise anything for sale is not a commercial use, and is compatible with an NC version of a CC license.

However, you do need to provide attribution (credit) to the original creators of each image that was under any of the CC-BY licenses. This must be provided in such a way that anyone who views the work (in this case the poster) has the opportunity to see the attribution. It need not be on the poster itself, it could be on an additional sheet of paper, provided that the attribution sheet is displayed along with the poster, and that the poster itself says somewhere "See additional sheet for image credits" or some similar text. There should be some way to indicate which credit goes to which image. If the images are numbered or titled that would suffice. Or the credits could be in order as the images appear on the poster.

Failing to provide proper attribution violates the terms of the license, and means you do not have valid permission to use the images at all. In addition, the school might consider it to be plagiarism, which many schools take quite seriously, as you would be using someone else's work without giving proper credit.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.