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Journalism - Finding and Using Images, Maps, Video & Audio: Copyright Free Images

Tips & links to help with citing and locating media. Also contains resources for understanding copyright and fair use of media

Journalist's Resource: Guide to copyright-free images

The Journalist's Resource's guide to copyright-free images provides tips on how to locate free photos and images.

Images with Creative Commons Licenses

  • Behold  searches Flickr photographs using "computer vision" rather than text tag.
    • Limit to "free to use" or "free to modify."
  • Compfight a visual search engine. 
    • Limit to "Creative commons" (under "Any license")
  • FlickrStorm an image search engine. 
    • Choose "advanced search"
    • Filter by "Search Creative Commons photos

Wylio Searches only Creative Commons content in Flickr. Additional tools for blogs and websites, including resizing tool, photo credit builder, and code generator.

  • Wikimedia Commons and Image Usage:
    • Almost all content hosted on Wikimedia Commons may be freely reused subject to certain restrictions in many cases.
      • Content under open content licenses may be reused without any need to contact the licensor.
      • Content in the public domain may not have a strict legal requirement of attribution (depending on the jurisdiction of content reuse), but attribution is recommended to give correct provenance.
    • Verify the copyright status of each image just as you would when obtaining images from other sources.
  • Wikipedia's Public domain image resources page provides a growing list of public domain images.

Wikipedia Disclaimer:  "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.




Images in the Public Domain

There are no copyright restrictions on "public domain" images. The public domain includes images created by government agencies, and works where copyright has expired (those created prior to 1923).

Images posted on the Internet are not necessarily in the the public domain. To find images that you can "reuse":

Always look for "Terms of Use," "Legal," or copyright statement links on any website, because institutions providing access may still request attribution.