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Free-Resources - Emer Kelly Digital Marketing and Graphic Design

12 High Quality, Free Video & Graphic Resources

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I’ve had a lot of clients tell me recently that they found great images for their blog, social media etc. on Google. When I ask them which website they used they look confused and tell me they just did a Google Image Search. Please know that any images you see in Google Image search are NOT free to use. They are just images from a myriad of websites that are often copyrighted. If you are looking for images you can legally use for free, then check out the list below. To understand a little more about what makes them free, read on and learn about public domain and creative commons licenses.

Because anybody can upload their work under a creative commons license the quality of the media can vary widely, the same can be true for works uploaded to the public domain. Below are some useful links to sources that contain high-quality works.

Video

  1. Vimeo‘s search function includes filters that enable you to search for creative commons footage only. It will even let you search by attribution type, so you can be sure your results are as accurate as possible. Many users who upload their footage with CC licences also include a download link, making this a very handy resource.
  2. The National Park’s Service provides public domain b-roll footage of its parks through this website.
  3. Public Domain Flicks is a great place to find footage from older films that have entered the public domain.
  4. Stock Footage for Free has some nice HD shots. You need to make an account before you can download them.
  5. Orange HD is a great resource for non-commercial projects.
  6. Youtube offers a Creative Commons video search option through the video editor (You’ll need an account to access this.) I usually keep this as a last resort, as it can be challenging to find high-quality footage.

Images

  1. Pixabay is a great resource for images. They are all copyright free and available for download in a variety of sizes.
  2. RGBStock is another great resource for copyright free images for personal and commercial use.
  3. Good Free Photos has some very beautiful shots available. The site owner asks that they be credited for their work.
  4. MorgueFile can be a little hit or miss when it comes to quality, but I have found some fantastic shots on there. All images are copyright free.
  5. LIFE’s Photo Archive hosted by Google is another great resource.
  6. Flickr allows users to upload photographs under a Creative Commons Licence. You can search them using the advanced search settings.

Archive.org is another great resource for public domain materials, particularly historical footage and photographs. Apart from these channels, I think it’s always worth it to speak to artists about their copyrighted work. I have had success with this in the past, particularly if your project is for a non-profit or non-commercial purpose.

Do you have any additional resources you use? Tell me about them in the comments below!

Public Domain Works

Images and footage that are in the public domain are free to use, alter, and incorporate into works for commercial or non-commercial projects. Often, 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 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 1977 without 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 more complete listing of conditions under which works are in the public domain in the USA click here.

Creative Commons Licenses

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Creative commons resources are works that have been uploaded by users who have released the rights to them, with certain conditions. There are a number of Creative Commons licences available. Some allow you creative liberties with the work, while others are more restrictive. The variation in licences can be overwhelming but they fall into six main categories explained below. Once you understand the logic, the system becomes quite simple:

Attribution (CC BY)
This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you:

1. Attribute the work to its 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 media.

Attribution NonCommercial  (CC BY-NC)
This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you:

1. Attribute the work to its original creator

2. Use it for non-commercial projects only

Attribution: Attribution is similar to what’s outlined above. You can link to this page which explains your right to use themedia.

Attribution NoDerivs (CC BY-ND)
This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you:

1. Don’t alter it in any way

2. Attribute the work to its original creator

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

Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND)
This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you

1. Don’t alter it in any way

2. Attribute the work to its original creator

3. Use it for non-commercial projects only

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

Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-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

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

Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)
This licence means you are free to use the work as long as you:

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 media.

EXCEPTIONS: There are some exceptions 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.

 

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