Where Can I Find Copyright Free Images?
There are tens of millions of high-quality images which you’re free to use public domain images. There are excellent places to discover free photos. Copyright free images are available in two areas: Public Domain Images and Creative Common Images.
Why You Should Use Copyright Free Images
A picture is worth a thousand words, but when a picture is protected by image copyright, there are only three words: Cease and Desist. People are very protective about finding their copyrighted images online being used without permission. Copyright is a federal law that protects the original work of authorship. Copyright attaches as soon the original work is created. The general rule is if you make it you own it. Copyright is an automatic right and does not require the author to file special paperwork. However, copyright legalities do not apply to works in the public domain.
Public Domain Images
The Public Domain contains images that are not copyrighted, or the copyright has expired. Also included are photographs whose creators have released into the public domain, therefore, eliminating all legal implications. The following is a list of the most used Public Domain sites. These images are free to use and remix.
New York Public Library
These images have no restrictions on use and require no permissions. This domain includes collections not only about New York but ancient texts and illustrations going back centuries. You can search by century, genre, collection or color.
This site has over a million images on Flickr for anyone to reuse or remix.
You can search this site by keyword and filter by year, and they also have their public domain images available on Flickr.
This is one of the most significant resources for the public domain works online! They host some image collections and have an easy way of searching through their massive collection by topic and collection. They have over five million images captured on Flickr.
Museum of Photographic Arts
Located in San Diego and dedicated to presenting, collecting and preserving photography and video. You can also find their collections on Flickr.
This is a collaborative project that provides the most extensive collection of public domain images.
Pixabay has over 750,000 free stock photos and illustrations released for free by their photographers. You can search by keyword and narrow down category by size and color.
Similar to Pixabay, there is a large selection of freely released images. They do have image collections for all topics.
This site provides 15,000 free stock photos. You can access popular searches and pictures by color or keyword and quickly see if an image was submitted or sourced from another free image website.
This site provides a variety of highly curated stock photos that are free to use. The images are high quality but require you to sign up for an account first.
Creative Common Images
Creative Commons license allows distributing an otherwise copyrighted image freely. If a photographer wants their image to be free to use but has some restrictions, they use a Creative Commons license which gives them some control over how an image is used.
Some of the resources mentioned above we’ve mentioned have integrated Creative Commons into their image pages. It will say “some rights reserved” under the image. You can find out more about the Creative Commons Image option on their website.
In summary, please remember it is not okay to use images that are copyrighted for any reason. It is illegal and can come back to cause you serious problems. As you can see, there are many legal and safe resources and options to use copyright free images.
We strongly encourage you to use Berify to validate that the images are in fact copyright free. We have all the tools available for a minimal fee to protect you from what could be a costly mistake.
We also offer our reverse image search API if you want to integrate Berify to your website: