Free From Copyright

Here are some suggested places to go to find resources that are free for educators and learners to use in the sense that they do not carry copyright restrictions.

Public domain resources are entirely free from restriction – “no rights reserved”. Alternatively, there are several alternative licenses which collectively can be called “copyleft” – you should start to get used to these as you use them. For example, the well known Creative Commons organisation has developed a series of licenses of varying degrees of restriction. These licenses fill the gap between copyrighted material and public domain resources. Do check what the license requires – there could for example be expectations to credit the original creator in a particular way. For more about creative commons licenses, start here and  here.

Free Images

Showing Creative Commons-licensed content
Best place to go in my mind, but the quality of photos themselves vary as anyone with a digital camera could be uploading a photo and adding a creative commons license.
image Aggregates a number of stock image sites that include free images. However some of the sites might direct you eventually to pictures that carry a price.
Public Domain Image Resources Listed on Wikipedia Very good for different categories such as Art and historical images.
image Use the ‘Stock Photos Tab’ at the very top. Great visual navigator but you may find the images given as thumbnails can no longer be found or require registration to view. Notice the tabs at the top search different sites.
image You can use the advanced search to select a particular license.
From Old Books Scanned images from old books (therefore public domain).
image Search engine focuses on CC licensed images. Handles the formatting of the image you choose, including the credit, so you can quickly grab the html code and get it in your blog quickly. Handy if using a online "WYSIWYG" blog editor, especially as it also hosts the image so no need to upload..
image “… contains free high resolution digital stock photographs and reference images for either corporate or public use. The purpose of this site is to provide free image reference material …”
Efficiently searches flickr for free and reusable images (as per CC licenses)
image Another image search engine which allows you to select a ‘Creative Commons’ license as one of the selection criteria

If you are interested in finding out more about accessing images free of copyright, I highly recommend this tutorial by JISC Digital Media: Image Searching

Free Music and Sounds

Public Domain 4 U

Good for finding public domain mp3s.
image Legally free, independent music available for download – all available under one of the 6 creative commons licenses
image Contains public domain and creative commons licensed sound clips – good for copyright free sound resources on the net. 
image “ccMixter is a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.”

General Resources

image Wide ranging source of “freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute”. Connected to the famous Wikipedia project.
image “offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations”, each with a focus on creative commons licensed material.

Know any other good sites? Add a comment below please.

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