Guide to finding interesting public domain works
Smithsonian Institution Public Domain Images
New York Times Public Domain Images
Instructors, students, and staff may also seek images, video, and other content which are available through Creative Commons license or in the public domain and freely available for use.
"Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools." Learn more about Creative Commons licenses here. Do you have work to share on the Web? It's easy to select the license that's right for you by using the Creative Commons Choose a License tool.
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The term “public domain” encompasses those materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. No individual owns these works; rather, they are owned by the public. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission and without citing the original author, but no one can ever own it.
There are 4 common ways that an item will arrive in the public domain:
1. The copyright has expired
2. The copyright owner failed to follow rules for renewal
3. The copyright owner deliberately places the item in the Public Domain
4. Copyright law does not protect this type of work
More information is available from "Welcome to the Public Domain" from the Stanford University Libraries and Public Domain Slider from the American Library Association.