On the 12th Day of Copyright Christmas

On the twelfth day of Copyright Christmas, my true love gave to me twelve fantastic sources for free copyright friendly art and images, eleven ways to use music under the music licenceten ALCC copyright factsheets, nine steps for creating a copyright compliant Christmas card, eight times you don’t need to ask permission to use copyright material, seven steps to protect work that I have createdsix submissions to the Productivity Commission Review of Intellectual Property five new information sheets from the Australian Copyright Council (ACC), four steps for using Readings Online self servicethree copyright news articles,  two quick and easy ways to get my subject readings ready for 2017 and 1 copyright compliant video on Youtube.

Once upon a time copyright made finding photos and art difficult, but museums and other sites are now making an increasing amount of their content available for educational use. What was once only available to some — for a price — is now becoming available to many . . . . for free.


Check out our 12 picks this Christmas, which are especially helpful if you are creating educational resources or need art for your personal use. If there are any personal favourites that we have missed, please let us know by posting a comment.

  1. Flickr
    This is the biggest photo sharing site on the web, and many of the pictures are available for personal or educational purposes. Use the advanced search feature to select for Creative Commons licensed images.
  2. Foter
    Foter uses the Flickr API and searches Creative Commons photos
  3. pixabay
    All images and videos on Pixabay are released free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. You may download, modify, distribute, and use them royalty free for anything you like, even in commercial applications. © Attribution is not required.
  4. Trove: Australia in Pictures
    All images included in this group are also made searchable in Trove, a service hosted by the National Library of Australia but built on the collections of thousands of organisations and individuals!
  5. The New York Public Library
    The NYPL Digital Gallery has digitized over 800,000 items for free and open access from the library’s vast collections. You’ll find illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more. Taking a MOOC on the history of Asia? Well, if you can’t get to central Manhattan to study in the library, you can try the digital collection instead.
  6. The Rijksmusem
    One of the largest museums in Europe dedicated to arts and history, made 250,000 works from its huge collection available for free online viewing or download.
  7. FreeRange
    This site has a good collection of animals, objects, people, places or abstracts that can be useful for archaeology or architecture projects. The site was formed with the goal to provide quality stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use. For free.
  8. Morguefile
    This site contains free images for creative projects and hosts over 350,000 free stock photos which are free to use for commercial use.
  9. Free MediaGoo
    FreeMediaGoo gives access to quality free stock photo backgrounds and images – for free. It provides content developers with royalty-free photography that can be used in print, film, TV, Internet or any other type of media both for commercial and personal use. The content is provided obligation free – there are no trademarks or copyright issues and no limits on the amount of free photos you can use.
  10. Getty images
    Free to embed in websites, blogs or online content. Getty has an extensive collection of embeddable images. Select the filter option to sort for ‘Embed Images’. The embed code is provided – when you use the embed code you are not actually making a copy.
  11. Engage Media
    This is an Australian-based site which distributes videos about social justice and environmental issues in the Asia Pacific. All videos are CC licensed.
  12. Wikimedia Commons
    Wikimedia is a database of over 17 million freely usable media files. Almost all content hosted on Wikimedia Commons may be freely reused subject to certain restrictions (in many cases). You do not need to obtain a specific statement of permission from the licensor(s) of the content unless you wish to use the work under different terms than the license states. See open content and public domain.

Images above

Wesolych Swiat: Okoń, Tadeusz (1872-1957) Art and Picture Collection The New York Public Library goo.gl/2JIxOx

Kermit Merry Christmas: Alexas_Fotos ©CC0 goo.gl/4SkbKn

Christmas greeting card from the Sanitary Man, 1938, Public Domain, goo.gl/20DYID

Father Christmas in Australia: State Library of Queensland – digital image collection goo.gl/Bjsfe1

Christmas Puppy: Mara Denardo goo.gl/3ZQbmN

Old Woman Reading: Gerard Dou 1632  goo.gl/zLgToq