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Copyright Center: Free-to-Use Images (FY 09-10)

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Free-to-Use Images

Free-to-Use Images

    Many websites and resources offer photos and images that can be used freely for various purposes.  However, please be sure to read the fine print as to how the image can be used to ensure proper permission.  Sometimes, there are certain stipulations attached to each image such as:  crediting the source, personal use only, not selling the product, or for educational coursework.  As long as you follow the guidelines, you may freely use the image or photo.  Below is a list of a few sites that offers just that - free photos and images!

Sources offering free-to-use images:

SMART Imagebase:  SMART Imagebase is a database that Bellevue University Library subscribes to through the vendor EBSCOhost.  This database is used to download pictures and illustrations of scientific and medical art (SMART).  There are over 18,000 high-quality illustrations in the areas of anatomy, physiology, diseases, surgery, and other health science topics.  All images may be downloaded and used for educational purposes in presentations, websites, and slideshows.

FreeFoto - http://www.freefoto.comFreeFoto.com is the largest stock pile of free photos for ANYONE (commercial and non-commercial) to use on the Internet - providing that the photo is given attribution and a link is created back to FreeFoto.com.  All of the photos fall under the Creative Commons license for non-commercial, no derivatives, attribution license which basically means "use in any media providing it is not for commercial purposes and they are not making a derivative image or gallery," allowing a student to use the photo in a course project.  FreeFoto.com does have a separate Educational Policy which in summary states that students can use the web-size photos for free with a proper credit given.  High-quality images that are 300 dpi must be purchased.

Stock.Xchng - http://www.sxc.hu/:  Create an account to gain access to hundreds of thousands of stock photos for free!  With Stock.Xchng you are allowed to use photos in digital formats on websites, multimedia presentations, in printed promotional materials, brochures, books, or even with your corporate logo on your business card.  There are some occasions where permission from the photographer is necessary such as when you have created printed material or website templates that you intend to sell. 

EveryStockPhoto - http://everystockphoto.com:  This photo-specific search engine allows you to search a collection of millions of photos that are indexed and individually licensed into one search engine.  Use of the photos does depend on how each photo is licensed. 

Free Digital Photos - freedigitalphotos.net: This site offers many photos that can be used freely for personal, educational, and corporate use.  However, if you do use a free version of the photo, you must credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net.  There are also photos available for purchase, and in that case you do not need to credit the source.  Also, photos can be used on items that are sold, but only where the photos are used as added decoration on the product, not used to sell the product, such as on mugs, T-shirts, mouse pads, etc. 

Wikimedia Commons - www.commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_PageWikimedia Commons is similar to Wikipedia, meaning that anyone can edit the material, but it is a type of "media file repository" which allows viewers to freely use images found on the site.  All files are either in the public domain or are freely-licensed educational images, sounds, or video clips.  As long as license conditions are met and proper attribution is given to the contributor, the files may be freely used.           

    If you have questions about any of the above sites or free-to-use images in general, please feel free to contact us.  Thank you for your support of the Copyright Center!