Free multimedia resources

You’ve written a story for the Web or a post for a blog and you need to add an image or a related video. If you didn’t take a photo or shoot footage yourself, what are your options?

The Internet is a treasure trove of multimedia but it’s important to make sure that what you find is really OK to use for free. Copyright laws do apply to online material, and saying you found it online won’t get you off the hook if someone decides to take legal action. It doesn’t matter if you’re not making money from the content. As Mark Luckie warns, “If you copy and use something created by another person you may be violating their rights to their work.”

So what can you do? Look for material that’s in the public domain or under a Creative Commons license. Serena Carpenter at Arizona State University has compiled an excellent list of sites to search for images.Among them:

Once you’ve found what you need, be sure to double check the license. It’s always a good idea to say where you got it and link to the original source, if possible.

Do you have other favorite sites for finding material that’s free to use online? Share the wealth!

Sourced from: NewsLab