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Free Media Library

Copyright law is complex and sometimes intimidating. But if you ever plan to share your work publicly, on a website, blog or ePortfolio, it is essential to make sure that any use of third-party media is legal. Fortunately, we have assembled some resources to make this process easier.

Why Is Copyright Important?

Understanding intellectual property issues for online media is far from straightforward; but learning the basics of copyright law will help you:

  • identify media for use in your projects
  • protect and share your work online
  • teach concepts of fair use in your classroom

Citing Sources

Do you need to build a works cited page for your project? Not sure how to properly cite media sources according to the guidelines for your area of study? Try the University Libraries Citation Guide!

Browse Free Media Sources

Audio

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as Google Images, Fotopedia, Jamendo, Flickr and more.
License: Creative Commons

Various

NoCopyrightSound is a dedicated music collective, providing free use music for creators to enhance their original content, safe from infringement. NCS Music is free to use for independent creators of content for publishing on YouTube and Twitch.
License: Specific (Credited)

The world’s biggest free music library. Download thousands of free MP3s, all with Creative Commons licenses so that you can modify, adapt and build on most works in your own projects.
License: Creative Commons

Various

This portion of moby.com, Film Music, is for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video or short. The music is free as long as it’s being used in a non-commercial or non-profit film, video, or short.
License: Author Defined

Freesound is a collaborative database of Creative Commons Licensed sound effects. Free registration required to download sounds.
License: Creative Commons

Attribution

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.
License: None (Public)

SoundCloud, launched in 2008 by Alexander Ljung and Eric Wahlforss, is a social sound platform that gives users unprecedented access to the world’s largest community of music and audio creators. This CC licensed search will allow you to find uploads to use in your projects.
License: Creative Commons

Attribution-NonCommercial

Highly curated collection of exclusive royalty free music, produced by our hand-picked artists. Music on HookSounds is copyright free and you can download and use for various purposes.
License: Free

Restricted

Musician Kevin MacLeod has produced hundreds of royalty-free tracks for videographers to use in their productions – and just asks that you give him credit in exchange.
License: Specific

(Credited)

The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the longest-running freeform radio station in the United States.
License: Various

(Details)

Browse and download free music and sound effects for your project.
License: Free

Google Account Required

Images

Adobe stock offers thousands of professional photos, illustrations, vector graphics and more. Penn State students, faculty and staff can request credits to download these items for free.
License: PSU Users Only

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as Google Images, Fotopedia, Jamendo, Flickr and more.
License: Creative Commons

Various

Not sure what type of photos you are looking for? Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license and you can browse or search through content under each type of license here.
License: Creative Commons

Various

Use this advanced Flickr search to find images by keyword and use the tools at the bottom to filter for only Creative Commons licensed materials that you can modify, adapt and build upon for your own projects.
License: Creative Commons

Various

Use this resource to search for various kinds of Creative Commons licensed images through a Google Image Search filter that allows you to specify the level of license needed. Media Commons recommends “Reuse with modification” for most class projects.
License: Creative Commons

Various

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.
License: None (Public)

Map images which can be downloaded, organized by region, type and theme. Most are public domain or licensed for non-commercial use. The PCL Map Collection includes more than 250,000 maps, 20% of which is online.
License: Author Defined

The REALIA Project publishes faculty-reviewed media for the teaching and study of modern languages and cultures. Images from around the world available for non-commercial use. Although the archive is for foreign language instructors, materials can apply to cultural studies and other social science issues.
License: Author Defined

Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos (and videos) licensed under the Pexels license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.
License: Free

Restrictions

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0 which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.
License: Free

Restrictions

Use these free Illustrations for your website, use the icons to represent your services or simply use these images to help users to understand your content. Whatever you like!
License: Free

Over 1 million free high-resolution images brought to you by the world’s most generous community of photographers.
License: Free

The library works like building blocks made of vector arms, legs, and emotions. You can mix these elements to create different Peeps.
License: Free

Videos

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as Google Images, Fotopedia, Jamendo, Flickr and more.
License: Creative Commons

Various

We’re proud to be one of the largest video communities in the world. Our growing collection of high-quality footage makes filmmaking easy and affordable. Plus, most files are free to download and free to use. You’re making the world a more beautiful place. We’re just here to support the cause.
License: Free

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.
License: None (Public)

Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos (and videos) licensed under the Pexels license. All photos are nicely tagged, searchable and also easy to discover through our discover pages.
License: Free

Restrictions

Videvo features video clips from all over the world. You can use the free stock footage clips in any project, commercial or non-commercial on a royalty-free basis.
License: Specific

(Credited)

Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under Creative Commons CC0 which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.
License: Free

Restrictions

Dareful.com is your source for completely free 4K stock video clips that can be downloaded and used any way you want, forever! You never pay a dime.
License: Free

Mazwai.com is a resource for free stock footage and moving images, created with one clear mission: to give creators around the world free access to beautiful stock footage, with simple licensing.
License: Creative Commons 3.0

Restrictions

VR/AR Assets

Adobe Stock is a service that provides designers and businesses with access to millions of high-quality curated and royalty-free photos, videos, illustrations, vector graphics, 3D assets, and templates for all their creative projects.
License: Requires License

The Unity Asset Store contains a library of free and commercial assets that Unity Technologies as well as members of the community create.
License: Free and purchase

The go to place where you can share your free 3d assets and download instantly any you like
License: Free

Buy 3D models for your project from our vast online catalog of cars, people, textures, architectural models and more.
License: Free and purchase

3D model marketplace for VR / AR and CG projects, and professional 3D designer community.
License: Free and purchase

Dedicated to the sharing of user-created digital design files. Providing primarily free, open source hardware designs licensed under the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses
License: Free

Still Looking for More Media?

CreativeCommons.org provides a community-built and maintained Content Directory that features hundreds of media resources from around the world and in a variety of different subject areas.