Most content that is written down, recorded, or posted to the web is under copyright. You cannot use something that is copyrighted without written permission from the owner. Many content creators, however, will upload materials to the web copyright-free. There are various license types associated with copyright-free content. Some examples include:
- Attribution: Must give appropriate credit to creator
- NonCommercial: Content cannot be used for commercial purposes.
- No Derivative Works: The content can be used, but only in its original form.
In addition to content that is uploaded by a creator to be copyright-free, a lot of media is in the public domain. Typically content enters the public domain when its copyright has expired. Copyright law began in 1924 so works created before then generally are in public domain.
Listed below are a variety of sources where you can search for openly licensed or public domain media. Please be sure to review licensing information on each database so you follow specific rules for use and attribution.