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Royalty Free

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 10 months ago

Royalty Free/Public Domain materials


This is a page devoted to listing sources of photos, sound recordings and videos that to the best of my knowledge may be reused without payment to a copyright holder. I'm not guaranteeing this. Please make sure you check the terms of use section of the site you are visiting. If you have reason to believe that a majority of materials on a given site require fees for use, please let me know.





  • Alaska Photo Library - From the website in answer to whether someone can use these pictures in projects: "Yes, in most cases. All photos in this library may be used for research, education, and critique purposes. This is commonly referred to as "Fair Use." No photos may be used for commercially sold products, for political purposes or to depict Alaska in a negative light." Photo library heavy on scenary and wildlife. Searchable by drop down boxes.
  • DefenseLink Images - Public domain military photos from the Department of Defense. Keyword searchable and browseable by many topics including: holidays, competitions, weapons systems, humanitarian aid, specialized vehicles and more.
  • Flickr's Creative Commons pool - Searchable and browseable database of licensed photos from this photo sharing service. Note: Most State of Alaska employees will require a WebSense waiver to access this site. Follow instructions on bandwidth management screen.
  • NOAA Photo Gallery - Over 10,000 photos, mostly nature and weather related. Public domain, but credit must be given to photographers. Collections may be searched or browsed. High resolution versions are available.
  • OpenPhoto - Hundreds of stock photos licensed for free commercial and non-commercial use. Images include scenary, objects, wildlife and more.
  • U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library - Description and Terms of Use from website:  "These images provide a visual history of the discovery, development, and sciences of the United States and its Geological Survey. Some photographs have been used in USGS publications, but most have never been published. Currently, this website represents less than 10 percent of the Library's images with approximately 30,000 photographs on-line. Please visit the "Latest Additions" menu at the top of this page for regular updates of photographs to the website. All photographs within this collection are public domain; therefore, signed releases, permissions, and payment for use or reproduction are not required." Credit to individual photographers is requested.
  • U.S. Government Photos and Graphics - Links to federal photo libraries, mostly public domain. Check individual sites for details. Links include African American Activists, Astrogeology Research Program, Earth as Art, Indian Health Service and more.
  • Yotophoto.com - Search engine that claims to index  well over a quarter million Creative Commons, Public Domain, GNU FDL, and royalty-free images.


Music/Sound Recordings


  • Soundsnap - Royalty-free sound effects. Everything from Aliens to Zebras.
  • Podsafe Audio - Many different music genres. From the web site, "This site aims to provide a location where musicians can upload music under the Creative Commons license for use in Podcasts, Mashups, Shoutcasts, Webcasts and every other kind of 'casting' that exists on the 'net." Consult individual album listings to see if songs must be used whole or can be "remixed."
  • Download recordings from the US Army Band - From the web site, "All information on this site is considered public information and may be distributed or copied freely except where otherwise noted."
  • Navy Band Sounds Online - Patrotic and holiday music. Some vocal music.
  • US Marine Band Web Exclusives - Mostly marches.
  • US Air Force Recordings - From the web site, "These recordings are approved by the Department of the Air Force for use in public service broadcasting, recruiting, educational activities, troop morale and retention." Songs are categorized by: Patriotic, Ceremonial, Marches, Popular & Show Songs, Rock / Pop / Country / R&B, Holiday, Choral, Classical, Jazz, Traditional / Celtic / Folk





  •  Internet Archive Moving Images - Mix of old and new films. From the web site, "By providing near-unrestricted access to these films, we hope to encourage widespread use of moving images in new contexts by people who might not have used them before." Check individual videos for reuse rights.
  • Videos from the US Government via usa.gov - From the web site, "Most of these videos are available for use in the public domain, and you may use and reproduce them without permission or fee. However, some videos may be protected by license. We strongly recommend you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use." Videos include footage on space, aging, homeland security, food safety, public buildings and more.

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