Understanding Image Search Filters
Image search can be a complicated process, especially when trying to navigate complicated licensing and use restrictions. This page explains Nuggety's search filters and describe some of the less intuitive options.
What Filtering on Nuggety Does
Filtering on Nuggety serves two purposes:
- When you select a filter Nuggety hides all sites that don't support the option
- When you search a site Nuggety passes the filter along to refine your results
For example, if you select "Illustrations" for Image Type, only sites that let you target your search to illustrations will be listed. Some sites only have illustrations, which means no filter needs to be set when you search them. Other sites contain multiple types of images, so a filter will be set to show only illustrations in your results.
"Supporting Site" Counts
Every filter option shows a number in brackets after it, like Illustrations . That number is the total number of sites that support the filter option in addition to any filters already selected. After a filter is set, the counts are updated for each option, including options to change or remove an existing filter. Some combinations of filters will result in  supporting sites.
What a Filter Means
Filtering on Nuggety is always specific and exclusive. For most filters this is the desired behavior, but it can be counterintuitive. For instance, any image that licensed for commercially use can also be used non-commercially, by definition. If you only want an image for non-commercial use, you may be tempted to use the "Non-commercial" filter. But doing so will exclude all images that can be used commercially, plus any site that doesn't provide targeting by non-commercial usage.
Simplifying Licensing Language
Every image on the web has a specific license that explains how and where an image can be used. Nuggety has analyzed each site's licensing terms and options to create consistent usage filters across multiple sites.
Whether images are offered for free or pay does not affect the terms of its use. "Use" or "usage" is determined by the context in which the image is to be used. Images will sometimes be priced differently if you want to use them in a magazine, on your blog or on a billboard.
- Commercial/Creative — Commercial use images can be used directly in the marketing and promotion of a product that results in monetary gain. However, this doesn't mean they are free from restrictions, as most commercial licenses have language preventing certain uses, such as promoting pornography, drugs, weapons, or criminal/hateful purposes.
- Non-commercial/Editorial — Non-commercial use can be anything from a school project to a personal blog, but it is also known as "Editorial" because images in magazines and newspapers are licensed for non-commercial use. Event photos and photos of famous people are usually only available for non-commercial use.
- Public domain/CC0 — These are images that have no use restrictions at all. That doesn't mean their use is risk-free, as images that feature people or property often need specific releases to be used in a commercial setting.
Aside from use restrictions, there are a few more licensing concerns for both free and pay images.
- Attribution-free — Images that require attribution must display a note about who owns the rights to the image. Most "for pay" commercial use images don't require attribution, while many free images do.
- Can modify — Allow making changes or remixing an image to the point a derivative work is created.
- Model release — Photos of a recognizable person requires a signed release from the subject for commercial use of the image. The lack of this legal safeguard is a common reason businesses avoid using free images in promotional material.
- Property release — Recognizeable property, most noteably famous buildings, are also subject to release requirements.
Most stock images online are either free to download or available under a royalty-free license. You may also find images that are not available for any use, such as personal photos or indexed images from web pages.
- Free — Images are available for free download.
- Any Paid — This aggregates all "for pay" options listed below.
- - Royalty-free — Pay a single licensing fee for unlimited use of an image.
- - Rights managed — A rights managed license has specific pricing based on the type and volume of use. This licensing is reserved for more desireable images.
- - Exclusive — Licensing an image for exclusive use means no one else will be able to license that image. Usually the priciest option, this sometimes comes with full ownership of the image.