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About Public Domain & Creative Commons
Public Domain Images
Copyright.gov explains public domain images: The public domain is not a place. A work of authorship is in the “public domain” if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner.
Creative Commons Images
Images that are not in the Public Domain are protected under copyright. Some copyrighted images may be offered for reuse under a Creative Commons license which grants permission to the public to access, share and reproduce those works. There are several different Creative Commons licenses that may be applied, so be sure to check what uses the license allows.
For more information on Public Domain & Creative Commons Images see the Harvard Law School Library's guide on Finding Public Domain & Creative Commons Media.
Finding Images Open for Access and/or Resuse
Flickr - Creative Commons
Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.
NASA content - images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not copyrighted.
National Gallery of Art- NGA Images
Limit your search to "Open Access Available."
New York Public Library - Public Domain Collections
More than 180,000 of the items in NYPL's Digital Collections are in the public domain.
Open Content Program - The Getty
"The Getty makes available, without charge, all available digital images to which the Getty holds the rights or that are in the public domain to be used for any purpose. No permission is required. "
"All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. Attribution is not required."
Public Domain Project
"Whether you’re a filmmaker, musician, designer, student, or just a history buff, the Pond5 Public Domain Project is making copyright-free media available for you."
Public Domain Review
As the name suggests, all the historical works found on this site are in the public domain, at least somewhere in the world.
Images on the Rijksmuseum website are fully searchable and downloadable. Wherever the image is in the public domain, this information is listed in "acquisition and rights."
U.S. Department of Agriculture Image Gallery
Photos in the Image Gallery are copyright-free, public domain, images unless otherwise indicated.
Wikimedia Commons - Images
"Wikimedia Commons only accepts free content... that [is] not subject to copyright restrictions which would prevent them being used by anyone, anytime, for any purpose."