There is no shortage of sites on the Internet that offer royalty-free and copyright-free material, especially image, audio or video sites.However, everyone ends up using the same stock footage from popular sites like Unsplash or Icons8, and the best images start repeating, so your content doesn't stand out from the crowd.
However, there are a few places to get royalty-free footage that aren't known to many and will get you more attention.From government-affiliated agencies like the Smithsonian and NASA, to those who review and curate footage available in the public domain, here are some unexpected sources of free and royalty-free images, audio, and video site.
1. Smithsonian Open Access (Web)
In addition to the famous Smithsonian National Museum in Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian operates 20 other museums, nine research centers, a zoo, and several libraries.Under the Smithsonian Institution's Open Access Program, its vast knowledge archive is now available for download, sharing, and reuse.
The collection includes nearly 500 million images and more than 2000 XNUMXD models, which you can filter by museum or institution, subject, date, location, group, or resource type.Within the resource type, you'll find subcategories of Paintings, Ornaments, Prototypes, Graphic Arts, Live Plants, and more.Of course, there is also a powerful search engine.You might also want to browse the "Open Access Remixes" section to see how others have made use of this wealth of material.
All data is provided under a Creative Commons zero-license agreement without copyright restrictions, and is available for both commercial and non-commercial use.Note that this only applies to materials in the Smithsonian's Open Access Program, not to other items on the site.
2. BBC Sound Effects (Web)
For more than 100 years, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has been the gold standard for radio and audio programming around the world.Naturally, it has also amassed a huge collection of sounds and sound effects. It may surprise you that the BBC allows you to access these sounds and sound effects through the BBC Sound Effects portal.
BBC sound effects include categories such as Nature, Transport, Machines, Everyday Life, Military, Museums, Animals, Clocks, Sports, Footsteps, Aircraft, Electronics and Crowds.Of course, you can also find what you want through a powerful search engine.Before downloading, you can preview sound effects directly on the page, and you can also categorize sound effects by duration or recording source.
There is also a sound mixer built into the website.You can add multiple sound effects to it and see how they play on top of each other.You can also add sound effects to favorites to refer to them later.
BBC Sound Effects cannot be used for commercial projects and has a long page with licensing details.But they also added: "In general, you can use the sound effects for free, as long as your use is not commercial, crediting the BBC. If the use becomes commercial, that is, if you monetize it, sell it or for a fee, or if it is advertised or commercially sponsored, it counts as commercial use and you will need permission to record it.
3. NASA Image and Video Library (Web)
Photo of galaxies taken by the Wide Array Super Telescope.Iconic images like man landing on the moon. "Houston, we're in trouble" and other recordings of historical phrases.Video from a Mars rover showing the topography of our neighboring planet.You can download all of this material in high-quality formats for free and re-use and adapt it to your liking.
The NASA image and video library isn't great for browsing the available material, so you'll mostly need to use a search engine.In the search results, you can further refine your search by year or content type (image, audio, video).It's not the best system because you can't find stuff by simply browsing if you don't know what to search for.However, do yourself a favor and check out the "Trends & What's Hot" section on the homepage.It's truly one of NASA's best sites for exploring Earth and space.
For non-commercial use, all NASA content (images, audio, video, and 3D models) is not copyrighted and can be used freely.Commercial use may be limited, but much more leniently than most other sites, and you can find it atMedia Usage GuidelinesLearn about these limitations in .
4. Library of Congress's Free to Use (Web)
The Library of Congress (LOC) houses an extensive collection of historical materials, especially photographs, artwork, and illustrations.Not all of this material is copyright-free, but the Library of Congress occasionally collects images that it considers to be in the public domain, have no known copyright, or have permission from the copyright owner for public use.Now you can browse all these pictures in the "Free to use" section.
It's not a huge collection compared to the other sites on this list, but it's definitely unique.Each set of images is based on a theme such as birthdays, Main Street, Statue of Liberty, 19th century portrait photos, classic children's books, Independence Day, and more.As you might expect, this is probably one of the best collections of historical and antique photos.
All materials in the free-use portion of the LOC may be used for commercial or non-commercial purposes without attribution.
5. The Public Domain Review (Web)
Public Domain Review is not affiliated with any government agency, nor does it have a long history.This non-profit project started in 2011 with the simple goal of highlighting noteworthy copyright-free and royalty-free works. PDR said it wanted to focus on the "surprising, strange and beautiful" works.
This site deserves to be your go-to resource for material because it has already done the curating.If you browse through other databases of copyright-free material, you'll find good and bad content out there, and you'll have to sift through it for what's worth using.But with PDR, you don't have this problem.
PDR categorizes its curated content by categories such as essays, or collections of topics such as maps, architecture, technology, warfare, etc.You can also browse by tab, or use an alphabetical index of all the material on the site.Each article on the site is linked to where it was originally published, along with a copyright and downloadable link to its underlying work.
Please indicate the original author
For material in the public domain or under a Zero Creative Commons license, attribution or attribution of any kind is generally not required.Still, it's polite to do so, and if possible, you should also include a link to where you found the original.
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