What are free stock images or public domain works?
Wikipedia says, “Works in the public domain are those whose intellectual property rights have expired, have been forfeited, or are inapplicable.”
Do Not Assume it is Public Domain!
You can see from our website, we widely state the status of images and works posted here as being public domain. Do not assume that any image or works on the internet are fair game and there for the taking.
Why have a public domain?
The public domain exists to allow the freedom of knowledge. If everything were perpetually copyrighted, we wouldn’t have Monet coffee mugs… some would argue we shouldn’t have Monet coffee mugs, but that’s another discussion! Shakespeare plays could not be so widely reprinted and studied. Audio recordings from great music pioneers like Robert Johnson can be heard freely by new generations (Check out our Me and the Devil Blues recording coming up here at Gaderinge!), but if they were copyrighted, descendants could (not that they would) have held the copyright and only release publications for very high prices.
How do works get into the public domain?
There are four common ways that works arrive in the public domain:
- the copyright has expired
- the copyright owner failed to follow copyright renewal rules
- the copyright owner deliberately places it in the public domain, known as “dedication” (most of our images are from this manner)
- copyright law does not protect this type of work
What can we do with free stock images?
You might think you can do anything at all, but that’s not entirely true.
Here are the things you are permitted to do:
- You may use, print, publish or manipulate the images without paying any royalty or fee
- If you do creatively change or enhance the image you may apply for copyright of that version of the image
- You may use the free stock images here on Gaderinge on your own website, blog, print material
But most importantly you can do awesome things with free stock images like we’ve done here with this modern web design using large background images found right here on Gaderinge, parallax effects, attention grabbing companion to your blog posts.
There are Restrictions
- Public domain images may not be used for illegal purposes
- If you use a photo for commercial use that contains identifiable people, and you need a model’s release, or permission from the original source. These are not available here on this site.
- You may not suggest endorsement of your service or product by any persons in the photos.
Where Can I find free stock images?
Luckily, you are in just the right place! Save yourself time (and money on the images) and check out our new images everyday! Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter for the latest free stock images, graphics, vintage memorabilia and audio. Here’s just a few of the great resources for free stock images that we’ve used for our collection:
- Creative Commons Search
- Smithsonian Images
- Bureau of Land Management
- US Fish and Wildlife Service
- National Park Service
- Public Domain Pictures
What are Creative Commons Works?
Author, photographers and artists can also place certain restrictions on their work, like restricting you from copyrighting their work when you’ve changed it. Below are just a few of the classifications you might see. These are gathered from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/
Attribution – CC BY – This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered.
Attribution-ShareAlike – CC BY-SA – This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.