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Copyright & Creative Commons, Free Images and Music: Copyright Friendly Images & Clipart

All things related to copyright, intellectual property, plagiarism, referencing, Creative Commons and copyright-friendly resources.

Creative Commons Images

Image from Nrico's Flickr photostream (licensed content for commercial use, adaptation, modification or building upon)

Creative Commons

A multimedia CC search, searches across Google, Flickr, Yahoo! and BlipTV  allowing searchers to specify a search for media to use to modify or for commercial purposes

Academic Images

This LibGuide from the University of Illinois has a collection of links to academic image sources:

  • Art and Architecture images
  • History images
  • Classical Studies images
  • Science images

Picture Australia


Picture Australia

  • Galleries, archives, museums and libraries across Australia and overseas combine to provide access to over 1.8 million images.
  • Search great cultural institutions for Australian images.
  • See pictures of Australia’s past and present including: photographs, objects, maps and works of art.
  • Find more images on Trove.

All images from the Picture Australia website may be used for research or educational purposes, in accordance with the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). If you intend to publish the images in print or online, other than as permitted by this Conditions of Use statement, you will need to get permission from the contributing agency

Good Free Image Sites

Most of the photos on the websites below just require you to acknowledge the original creator of the image..


Flickr Images

Image: "curve e rette"

Free Clipart & Icons

Free Wallpapers & Screen Savers

InterfaceLIFT -  Free photographs to download as desktop wallpapers and screensavers. Mostly landscapes and cityscapes. Contact details for photographers are included if you would like to re-publish the photos.

Desktopedia - free sport wallpapers and photos

Mona Lisa from Tin Eye

Tin Eye Reverse Image search engine can be used to track where images and photos are being illegally used on the internet.

This widget from Tin Eye shows 97 different alterations to the Mona Lisa painting, along with which websites they came from.

Google Image Search

Google now allows you to search for information about a particular image, or similar, related images.

1)  Search for similar images by dragging and dropping an image or photo from the web or your computer.

2)  Upload an image from your computer.

3)  Copy and paste the URL of an image.

4)  Install the Google Chrome or Firefox extension, and then simply right click on an image to find out information about it.

See more at

Create New Effects with Images


Allows you to upload images, apply effects and then download the final product.

Britannica Image Quest

To access this image database, go to the

eResources page

Britannica Image Quest provides access to more than two million images from the best collections in the world - from leading museums like the National Portrait Gallery of London, the Chicago History Museum, and the National History Museum in London to trusted names like National Geographic, Getty Images and Britannica...

Flickrcc Blue Mountains & FlickrStorm

The panel on the left of the original displays the first 36 photos matching your search term. Click on any of these thumbnails to get a slightly larger image and the attribution details displayed in the right hand section. Right click the image and 'save image as' if you want to use this size, or click on the link in the attribution text to go to flickr and chose a different sized image. Don't forget to include the attribution text in any work you produce using the picture.

If you want to edit a photo, you'll need to restrict the search to just those licenses that allow derivatives. Checking the 'for editing' box ensures that just those photos licensed "Attribution License", "Attribution-NonCommercial License", "Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License" and "Attribution-ShareAlike License" are returned.  There is a link on the right where you can click to edit the image with Piknik, an online image editor.

Information from flickrcc blue mountains website.

50 Sites Similar to Blue Mountains

Try this site for other places to look for images.

FlickrStorm is another Flickr search engine which returns more, related images than what you've requested, and includes the ability to search within Creative Commons licencing.  Click the link below for more information about it.

FlickrStorm: better search for Flickr, including Creative Commons

Obtaining Permission to Reuse

Getting Permission

Unless you use images or music from a copyright-free site, you will need to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reuse/ remix them in the format you would like. Often the hardest part is finding who the copyright owner is.

This site gives the contact details for many music and movie companies, as well as sample permission letters for you to use and adapt.

Music Publisher Contacts
Record Company Contacts
Film Clip Clearance Contacts
Television Clip Clearance Contacts
Books, Articles, Photos and Illustrations Clearance Contacts 

Sample Permission Letter For Music
Sample Permission Letter For Movies

Image Citation Creator

Even when you use free images, you still need to acknowledge where they came from, and in an assignment you need to provide citation details for each image.

Tech4Learning have created an image citation maker which is free and easy to use.

Public Domain Images

Pulic Domain images are able to be freely used by anyone without first gaining permission.

Public Domain images can be found at:

Art & Architecture Images

Image: 'Delhi from a rickshaw'


Science Images

Image from NIH Images


(Thanks to Science in School website)

History Images

Military Images

Image from


Free Military Photos - some of the best military images available

US Navy Images - historical, public domain photographs

Sites from other lists



From Joyce Valenza's Copyright Friendly wiki:


Also of interest: