Copyright Free Media

Do you need a free image/video/sound clip to enhance an assignment? Although media is available online this does not mean it is free to use.  Copyright regulations apply to online media. This means you have to either pay a fee to or request permission from the creator to incorporate the material into your work. To keep things legal, be sure to use copyright-free/copyright-friendly media. To help you with your assignments the library has made a list of copyright-free/copyright-friendly media.

Note: Even if you don’t have to pay for the media you use, you still have to credit the creator in your assignment.  For more information on how to cite materials see EasyBib or KnightCite.

All Media

A database of over 28,000,000 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.


Animation Library – This site features over 13,748 free animations for you to use.

Bigfoto – All of these photographs can be used for free. When you use images you must make reference to the bigfoto website. For example: Photo(s) by courtesy of

Clipart for Students, Geography Clipart – Any clip art featured on the site may be used on any web site, intranet site or within a document or publication.

Discovery Education Clip Art Gallery – Any use of clip art images must credit and include a link to the Web site. Credit must read - "Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on"

EBSCO – Images can be used in research papers. Just make sure you include the proper citation.

Flickr – The Commons – a project wherein cultural institutions (libraries, archives, museums) make photographs with no copyright restrictions freely available online. Participants include several Canadian institutions.

This site offers images that are free for on-line use. Also non-commercial users may download web size images to use off-line in school projects.

Free Pixels – Images and digital creations downloaded from this website may be used for both personal and commercial purposes. However, you may not share an image or digital creation by providing access on shared disk drives or network, resell any image or digital creation, use any image or digital creation as part of a trademark or patent image, use any image or digital creation as part of a logo, produce printed reproductions of any image or digital creation on canvas or paper to be sold, or use or display any image or digital creation on websites designed to induce sales.

The Images Project – a web-based collection of student and teacher created curriculum images for Nova Scotia public school program use.

MourgeFile – MorgueFile contains free high resolution digital stock photography for either corporate or public use.

Open Clipart – a collection of original, royalty free clipart, images, graphics, templates and icons. Unless noted, content on this site is waived of all copyright and related or neighboring rights under the CC0 PD Dedication.

PD Photo – Free Photos and Pictures is a repository for free public domain photos. Not to be used for commercial purposes.

Photogen – Photogen provides free, quality stock photography for both commercial and personal use. The aim is to create a valuable resource for designers, graphic artists, bloggers or anyone who needs a photo or image to enhance their website, presentation, homework or print job. While they’re free to use in your work, our photos are not for resale or redistribution and you should read our terms of use before downloading.

Pics4Learning – a safe, free image library for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos & images for classrooms, multimedia projects, websites, videos, portfolios, or any projects in an educational setting.

Pixabay – you can freely use any image from this website in digital and printed format, for personal and commercial use.

Smithsonian Photographic Services – Fair use of copyrighted material includes the use of protected materials for non-commercial educational purposes, such as teaching, scholarship, research, criticism, commentary, and news reporting. Unless otherwise noted, users who wish to download or print text and image files from this Web site for such uses may do so without the Smithsonian Institution’s express permission. The citation must include all copyright information and other information associated with the content and the URL for the Smithsonian Institution website.

Stockvault – Free Stock Photos & Images for personal, educational and non-commercial usage.

U.S. Government Photos and Graphics – The United State Government is millions of photographs available for use by the general public. These photos are generally royalty free. Many units of the government have made collections of photographs available online. The list below is a selection of US Government Websites of particular interest.

Visual Geography Series – An extension of Lerner Publishing Group's series of Visual Geography books, this site provides a great resource for links to country-specific information, up-to-date statistics, photographs and maps students can download into their reports.


ccMixter –  a community music site featuring remixes licensed under Creative Commons where you can listen to, sample, mash-up, or interact with music in whatever way you want.


You Tube – When you do a YouTube search, a “Filter” button will appear under the search bar. Click on it, select “Creative Commons,” and your search results will be limited to videos you can use for free.