Friday, June 14, 2024

Where To Get Public Domain Images

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What Are Public Domain Images

How to Find Free Public Domain Images

Public domain images are those that dont have any copyright protections1.

An image finds itself in the public domain for two reasons:

  • Copyright protection has run out: Under most governments, copyright protection expires after a certain period of time. For works published in or protected by the U.S., for example, copyright protection generally expires 70 years after the author of the work has died 2.
  • The author gives up his/her copyrights: In this case, the maker of the work intentionally and explicitly places the image in the public domain by forgoing any of his or her copyrights. Typically, these images will have a license like CC0 1.0 Public Domain Dedication.
  • Before we use a random image we obtained off the Internet, we must answer these questions first:

    • Can it be used commercially? Or is it limited to just personal use?
    • Can it be edited/modified/changed?
    • Can I sell/redistribute the image?
    • Can I use it on my website/app/illustration/book?
    • Do I need to get permission to use this image? How and where do I get permission?
    • Do I need to provide attribution?

    We have to worry about these things in every case where we want to use an image that we didnt create or dont own, except for when the image is in the public domain.

    How To Cite Public Domain Images Properly

    If youâre planning on using a public domain image in a blog or on your website, you must cite the source from which you acquired a particular image. The image citations should include the following information:

    • The title of the image
    • Information about the institution at which an image is kept
    • The source from which you acquired an image

    In case you donât have access to all of these information or if the information is simply not available you should include all details about a public domain image you have the access to. Furthermore, there are several styles of image citations that depend on the source from which an image was acquired.

    Spending large sums of money on images you can use in commercial or private projects is not always necessary. The public domain images are widely available and they can be used in a broad range of contexts. Which website that lets you download public domain images do you like to use the most? Leave a comment and share your opinions with us.

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    How To Find Public Domain Images: 15 Valuable Websites

    1. PublicDomainArchive

    PublicDomainArchive is a great source of professional-level public domain images. New photos are added regularly, which keeps the sites content fresh. The website is managed by Matt Hobbs, a professional web designer and photographer.

    2. Pixabay

    Pixabay is easy to use: The site has a good search feature and multiple options for exploring its content. All the images on Pixabay carry the CC0 1.0 public dedication license.

    3. The Public Domain Review

    The Public Domain Review is an online publication dedicated to the subject of the public domain. They have over a hundred collections of public domain images, with each collection having numerous images and containing a description about the body of work.

    4. Unsplash

    On Unsplash, you have more than two million free images to choose from. Unsplash is a project originally created by Crew, an online marketplace for creative talent.

    6. PDPics

    PDPics has a collection of over a thousand public domain images organized into 18 categories, such as Animals, Food, Technology and so forth.

    7. Picdrome

    Picdrome is a collection of photos in the public domain. The images are licensed under CC0 1.0 and arranged in categories such as Nature and Textures and Backgrounds.

    8. Smithsonian Open Access

    9. Pexels

    Pexels is a stock website that offers free images and videos for use in your projects. The team at Pexels asks that you dont redistribute or sell the photos or portray people in the content in an offensive way.

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    Free To Use And Reuse Sets

    This portal features content that is free to use and reuse.

    This page features items from the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The Library believes that this content is either in the public domain, has no known copyright, or has been cleared by the copyright owner for public use. Each set of content is based on a theme and is first featured on the Library’s home page.

    These sets are just a small sample of the Library’s digital collections that are free to use and reuse. The digital collections comprise millions of items including books, newspapers, manuscripts, prints and photos, maps, musical scores, films, sound recordings and more. Whenever possible, each collection has its own rights statement which should be consulted for guidance on use. Learn more aboutcopyright and the Library’s collections.

    Can You Profit From Public Domain Images

    Forest free images, public domain images

    Yes. Many great works of art and literature are in the public domain, and there are no restrictions on people using them for free or profiting from them. While profiting from public domain images is permitted, individuals or companies should not falsely claim that they own the copyright in a public domain image.

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    How Do The Licenses Work

    Check out this infographic by adityadipankar for a quick intro to the various types of Creative Commons licenses. If you are interested in learning more about these licenses, offers more information.

    All Creative Commons licenses require attribution to the creator. If you are interested in more information about best practices for providing attribution, Creative Commons Australia has created a handout with detailed information about proper attribution practices.

    Google Images With Usage Rights

    – Searching on Google Images search is a great way to find lots of interesting pictures, but it used to be very time consuming to find pictures you could legally use on your site. Thankfully, Google now has an option to search images by usage rights. In the image below, under the Search tools and then Usage Rights , you can filter your search based on how it’s going to be used.

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    Copyright Does Not Protect Certain Works

    There are some things that copyright law does not protect. Copyright law does not protect the titles of books or movies, nor does it protect short phrases such as, Make my day. Copyright protection also doesnt cover facts, ideas, or theories. These things are free for all to use without authorization.

    Short Phrases

    Phrases such as, Show me the money or, Beam me up are not protected under copyright law. Short phrases, names, titles, or small groups of words are considered common idioms of the English language and are free for anyone to use. However, a short phrase used as an advertising slogan is protectable under trademark law. In that case, you could not use a similar phrase for the purpose of selling products or services.

    Facts and Theories

    A fact or a theoryfor example, the fact that a comet will pass by the Earth in 2027is not protected by copyright. If a scientist discovered this fact, anyone would be free to use it without asking for permission from the scientist. Similarly, if someone creates a theory that the comet can be destroyed by a nuclear device, anyone could use that theory to create a book or movie. However, the unique manner in which a fact is expressed may be protected. Therefore, if a filmmaker created a movie about destroying a comet with a nuclear device, the specific way he presented the ideas in the movie would be protected by copyright.

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    Are Local Laws in the Public Domain?

    My Top Site For Public Domain Images

    Public Domain Images For Commercial Use

    Part of me wants to keep these wonderfully curated collections to myself but Id be doing you a huge disservice. Aiming to give everyone access to the best public domain creative resources Raw Pixel scan and enhance high resolution images from antique books, plates and museum collections ensuring each image is 100% copyright free for personal or commercial use . There are bigger collections out there but none come close to matching their Apple-like ease of use and thoughtful design. Public Domain Gems is a good place to start while Artist Collections feature 20th century masters like Cézanne, Gaugin and Van Gogh or explore the Animal Kingdom via some incredible illustrations from the 19th century and beyond. Collage artists and scrapbooking enthusiasts, welcome to your new home.

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    How To Find Public Domain Images

    Before you use any images on your website, it’s critical that you make sure that you have a license to use them.

    UCSC provides a photo repository of images that you have permission to use.

    If you need to find additional images for your site, below is a list of tips and resources for you:

    How to find free-to-use images on Google

    ! Important Note -many of the images on Google are mostly aggregated from Wikimedia Commons and are by no means representative of the universe of free images available.

    Creative Commons

    Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators.

    ! Important Note –if you search Creative Commonsvia Flickr, the SEARCH engine automatically resets when you search again – so with every new search, you have to make sure the “Creative Commons” boxes are ticked.

    Wikimedia Commons

    a database of 24,321,353 freely usablemedia files to which anyone can contribute


    Free hi-resolution photos. 10 new photos every 10 days.

    ! Important Note:A lot of media folks know about this site, so you’ll often see these images frequently used.

    Free Pik

    You have to register and download their software.

    Public Domain Project

    The British Library

    The Getty

    Websites Offering Public Domain Images

    On this page you find a list of platforms and services that provide multimedia content such as images, video and audio. These resources can be very useful when it comes to developing OER for TVET.

    Commit 2 Design

    • Detailed information: Together with an image resource website Realistic Shots, he develops PSD templates for free use.
    • Contents: PSD files
    • Special feature: View photos in 360° with Flickr VR
    • Contents: photos and videos
    • Language : Deutsch English Español Français Italiano Português Ting Vit Bahasa Indonesia
    • Service hosted by Flickr
    • License: Many of the pictures are provided under CC

    Free Stock Photos

    • Detailed information: Categories include Abstract, Animals, Backgrounds, Borders, Buildings, Business, Clip Art, Designs, Education, Events, Special Events, Food, Health, Holidays, Industry, Landscapes, Nature, Objects, People, Recreation, Religion, Sports, Symbols, Technology, Themes, Transportation and Travel.
    • Contents: photos
    • Language : English
    • License: Some under CC0

    ISO Republic

    Old Book Illustrations


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    Wikipedia: Public Domain Image Resources

    Public domain image resources is a copy of the master Wikipedia page at Meta, which lists a number of sources of public domain images on the Web.

    Public Domain images should be marked with the Public Domain Mark 1.0. Public Domain Mark enables works that are no longer restricted by copyright to be marked as such in a standard and simple way, making them easily discoverable and available to others. The Public Domain Mark is recommended for works that are free of known copyright around the world. These will typically be very old works.For a creator to release his/her works into the public domain legally they must use the creative commons CC0 license which gives creators a way to waive all their copyright and related rights in their works to the fullest extent allowed by law.The presence of a resource on this list does not guarantee that all or any of the images in it are in the public domain. You are still responsible for checking the copyright status of images before you submit them to Wikipedia.

    Please read the policy on image use and etiquette at: Wikipedia:Image use policy.

    See also:

    You can use CCSearch to search for freely licensed images across many of the image sources listed here.It can also help with finding freely licensed animations, audio and videos.

    Where Can I Find Free Public Domain Images And Pictures

    Public domain images · Pexels

    Today, there are several great Internet websites that offer thousands of free public domain and royalty free images. Below is a list of some of the best available sites to find these pictures.

    All these sites have free images with different agreements. Make sure the images you’re copying have no restrictions or have license agreements that allow you to use them how you choose.

    This page tells users where they can find pictures to download. To learn how to copy them, see: How to copy text and images from a web page.

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    Key Features Of Public Domain Images

    • Ability to use the image any way you want : Public domain images wont have any usage restrictions. You can sell them, edit them, redistribute them, use them in your web app, etc. The only restrictions youll have are laws and regulations that your government has.

      For example, lets say that for some strange reason your country doesnt allow you to use photos of butterflies or images of trees youll bear the repercussions of that violation, not the creator or provider of the work.

    • No attribution required: Some free images you find on the Web will demand that you link back to the sites where you got them from. A proper public domain image wont require you to acknowledge the creator or source of the work.
    • Truly free: For the sites mentioned in this article, you will be able to download public domain images from them at no cost. Note that some stock photo sites sell public domain images they either charge a monthly fee or charge you a certain amount per download but I wont be talking about those here.

    Using Public Domain Images

    This collection of websites offering free to use public domain images have been a fantastic resource for my own artwork be it drawing, painting, printmaking or design. A public domain image is one that is free of known copyright around the world. As the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 outlines: You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Excellent news for artists.

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