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Copyright

Searching for Public Domain Content

Public domain works are not protected by copyright either because their copyright term has expired or they fall within a category of works that are not subject to copyright law. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission. More information on the public domain is available here.

Works that are in the public domain can be found almost anywhere so this is far from an exhaustive list. The following is merely a selection of sites that have large collections of content in the public domain.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Images

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • Google Image Search Use the usage rights dropdown menu from the advanced search page to search for content licensed under Creative Commons.
  • flickr Use the advanced search to limit to Creative Commons licensed content.
  • Open Clip Art Library All clip art on the site is in the public domain and may be used freely.
  • Pixabay >Images that have been placed in the public domain and may be used freely.
  • Creativity 103 Abstract background designs licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Pexels A stock photo website where all images are licensed under a CC0 license.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Audio

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • Jamendo Use the advanced search to limit to Creative Commons licensed materials.
  • ccMixter An entire site of music licensed under Creative Commons.
  • Free Loops Free downloadable music loops.
  • freesound Sound effects all licensed under Creative Commons.
  • OpSound Creative Commons licensed music.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Videos

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • YouTube After your search use the filter dropdown menu below the search box to limit to Creative Commons licensed videos.
  • Vimeo
  • Al Jazeera Creative Commons licensed video footage from Al Jazeera.

Searching for Creative Commons Licensed Text

The following sites may contain content licensed under Creative Commons. Note that not all content on the site is necessarily licensed under Creative Commons. If you are in doubt about the license on a work contact the copyright holder.

  • Unglue It Creative Commons licensed books.
  • PLoS Creative Commons licensed science journals.
  • BioMed Central Creative Commons licensed medical journals.
  • Directory of Open Access Journals A searchable directory of journals that does not charge users or their institutions for access. Many are licensed under Creative Commons.