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Free Stock Footage and Stock Images.

Updated on August 23, 2014
by bullofriverside
by bullofriverside | Source

Using Legal, Free Media

We've all been there, we write an excellent blog post or article and are Oh So Proud of it until we realize it is utterly devoid of imagery. We then spend a frustrating hour or two trawling the internet looking for public domain images, and trying to figure out the difference between various Creative Commons licences. Never fear! After an entire year of media-gathering for various projects, I am here to ease your path and share with you some of the better media websites I have come across for stock images, and video too. I will also help to clarify the terms of various licenses, so you can be sure that anything you use is being used legally and you won't be getting any angry 'Cease and desist' letters in the mail.

Photo by visualpanic http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en
Photo by visualpanic http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en | Source
Photo by Hdahlmo. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/deed.en
Photo by Hdahlmo. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/deed.en | Source

'Tigerish Waters', a CC video on Vimeo.com

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative commons images are great and what are most often found on Wikipedia, and Wikimedia Commons. These are images that have been uploaded by users who have released the rights to them, with certain conditions.

There are a number of different Creative Commons licences available and it can be difficult to determine the difference between them. I have laid them all out here in an easily understandable format.

  • Attribution- CC BY

This licence means you are free to use the work in any way you want (Commercial or non-commercial), as long as you credit the image's original creator.

Attribution: The best way to do this is usually to credit them by name, and include a link to the original content. If you want to be extra safe you should also refer to the terms of the licence and include a link to this page, which explains your right to use the imagery.

  • Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

This licence is identical to the one above, with the only difference being that you can use it for non-commercial projects only.

Attribution: When attributing, you can link to this page which explains your right to use the imagery.

  • Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND

This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you don't change it in any way and you credit the image's original creator.

Attribution: When attributing, you can link to this page which explains your right to use the imagery.

  • Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

This licence is identical to the one above, with the only difference being that you can use it for non-commercial projects only.

Attribution: When attributing, you can link to this page which explains your right to use the imagery.

  • Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA

This licence means you are free to use the work in any way you want but that you must:

1. Attribute the work to its original creator

2. Licence your resulting work under the same terms

3. Use it for non-commercial projects only.

Attribution: When attributing, you can link to this page which explains your right to use the imagery.

  • Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA

This licence is identical to the one above, with the only difference being that you can use it for non-commercial projects only.

Attribution: When attributing, you can link to this page which explains your right to use the imagery.

EXCEPTIONS: There are some exception to Creative Commons licenses. If the image or video you want to use contains recognizable persons (E.g. footage of a Madonna concert) then you may be infringing upon their publicity or privacy rights. You would need to get the individual's permission before using the image or video commercially, but you're good to go for private projects.



Public Domain Works

Images and footage that are in the public domain are free to use, alter, and incorporate into commercial or non-commercial projects. Usually images enter the public domain when their intellectual property right expire. It is important to note that works do not enter the public domain in every country at the same time. For example, if you live in Europe copyright usually extends for the life of the creator or creators, plus 70 years. Copyright laws in the USA, however, are an awful lot stricter with no new works being released into the public domain until 2019. Having said that, there are still plenty of good resources for public domain footage and images in the USA.

  • Images taken by a U.S. military or government employees during official business are automatically in the public domain.
  • Works published in the USA prior to 1923 are in the public domain.
  • Works published in the USA between 1923 and 1977without proper copyright notice are in the public domain.
  • Works published before 1964 whose copyright notice was not renewed are in the public domain.
  • For a full listing of conditions under which works are in the public domain in the USA click HERE.

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Stock photo from morguefile.com. Free to use for commercial and non-commercial projects. Attribution not required.
Stock photo from morguefile.com. Free to use for commercial and non-commercial projects. Attribution not required. | Source

Free Stock Footage and Images

Apart from public domain and creative commons licenses, there are plenty of websites that offer free images or footage with open licences. See below for a list of such resources. This is by no means an exhaustive list, simply type 'Free Stock Footage' or 'Free Stock Images' into a search engine and you will find hundreds of results. Be careful of sites that advertise royalty-free media as there is will be a release charge that can cost anything from $5 to $1000.

This video is very informative. View on Youtube and check out the comments below for more resources!

This video also has some great resources.

© 2013 Emer Kelly

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    • Zsuzsi profile image

      Zsuzsi 4 years ago from Hungary

      Thank you! I really appreciate the info you shared in this hub.

    • tsfc profile image

      Jason Fox 4 years ago

      Hi, thanks for sharing this. You can also add http://www.thestockfootagecompany.com as a resource for free stock footage.

    • profile image

      Alexander 4 years ago

      http://www.orangehd.com offers a lot of full HD footage and video material for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

    • EmerKelly profile image
      Author

      Emer Kelly 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks tsfc and Alexander for sharing those links!

    • profile image

      Cris DeRaud 3 years ago

      A good alternative to sxc is http://www.rgbstock.com/

    • Archbob profile image

      Archbob 3 years ago

      Also check out http://www.goodfreephotos.com for thousands of public domain photos. Appreciate it if you could add it to your list.

    • profile image

      Raymond Pettit 2 years ago

    • profile image

      Keiffer 2 years ago

      I'll try to put this to good use imdleiatmey.

    • profile image

      Spring 2 years ago

      Simply wish to say your article is as amiznag. The clearness in your post is just great and We could assume you're an expert on this subject. Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the gratifying work.

    • profile image

      FrenchFry 2 years ago

      You can also try http://www.videvo.net - they have quite a large selection of free footage and animated clips

    • profile image

      Tobias 22 months ago

      Hi, thanks for this sources. Maybe you can add my Site also to your list. https://plixs.com serve many free footage videos and images with public domain license. Daily added new videos by community members.

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