866-266-7496 mediacommons@psu.edu

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

Free Media Sources

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 Guides!

Images

Adobe Stock offers thousands of professional photos, illustrations, vector graphics and more. Penn State students, faculty and staff can request access to download these items for free.
License: Royalty Free

Details

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as web repositories, international museums, libraries and more.

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• Check the Modify or adapt option under I want something I can to find only content suitable for most class projects.
• Use the Images, Audio and Video tabs in the search results to browse content types matching your keyword(s).

Click the + button for more tips!

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

Tips for Use

• Make sure to switch from Any license to Modifications allowed before entering your keyword(s) in the search field.
The search field will move to the top of the page when you select Modifications allowed.

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 Creative Commons license needed for most class projects. 

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s), choose Tools, then Usage Rights and then select Creative Commons licenses from the dropdown menu.
• Information about licensing details is specified under each image when previewing.

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.

License: Public Domain

Tips for Use

• Choose Content and select what type of material you are looking for (i.e. AudioImagesVideo, etc).
• Search results can be further refined using the Filters after typing keywords in the enter search terms field.
A free account is necessary to download.

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

Tips for Use

• Start at Online Maps of General Interest to browse by global regions.

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

Restricted

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search for free photos and videos field to get started.
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

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

Restricted

Tips for Use

• While crediting is not required, linking back is encouraged, where possible (in the context of academic projects, crediting is often better).
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

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

Tips for Use

• This is a a full package of free illustrations and it will download as a single archive file to be explored on your computer.
To complete the download, you must enter your email address.

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

License: Free

Tips for Use

• Simply type your keyword(s) into the Search for free high resolution photos field.
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

Penn State’s official photography archive. Follow these instructions to register.

License: PSU Users Only

Tips for Use

• Choose Assets to browse and search content.
• Add images to a Lightbox to view just your selections when gathering multiple images.
Registration is required to view and download content.

Audio

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as web repositories, international museums, libraries and more.

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• Check the Modify or adapt option under I want something I can to find only content suitable for most class projects.
• Use the Images, Audio and Video tabs in the search results to browse content types matching your keyword(s).

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

Tips for Use

• Choose Open Music Library to start browsing/searching NoCopyrightSounds.
A free account is necessary to download.

Click the + button for more tips!

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

Tips for Use

• When downloading, select For Personal Use to indicate that you will be using each music track for non-commercial, class projects.
A free account is necessary to download.

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

Tips for Use

• Click Catalog to begin browsing or searching the music tracks.
Submitting an application is required to download. Details may be saved to streamline future downloads.

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

License: Creative Commons

Attribution

Tips for Use

• After entering a broad keyword like “guitar” in the search sounds field, the tags sidebar can be helpful to refine results.
A free account is necessary to download.

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.

License: Public Domain

Tips for Use

• Choose Content and select what type of material you are looking for (i.e. AudioImagesVideo, etc). 
• Search results can be further refined using the Filters after typing keywords in the enter search terms field.
 • A free account is necessary to download.

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

Tips for Use

• Non-Premium tracks can be used for free, just avoid the Premium call out on each result’s thumbnail.
• When downloading, choose Use & Mention under the Single License options.

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

Tips for Use

• Choose the Royalty Free Music tab to browse and search music tracks.
• Select the Download “Song Title” as mp3 option when you have found your track(s).

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

Tips for Use

• Choose Browse FMA to browse and search music tracks.
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

Browse and download free music and sound effects for your project.

License: Free

Tips for Use

• Audio Library is available in YouTube Studio, accessible after signing in and then clicking on your Profile image.
A Google account is necessary to download.

Video

Use this multimedia search engine to find various types of CC licensed items from sources such as web repositories, international museums, libraries and more.

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• Check the Modify or adapt option under I want something I can to find only content suitable for most class projects.
• Use the Images, Audio and Video tabs in the search results to browse content types matching your keyword(s).

Click the + button for more tips!

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

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the Search field, check Standard and Creative Commons under License Type to display only results suitable for most class assignments.
Sponsored content by iStock is not included in the materials available under Videezy’s licensing.

Images, audio and video recordings related to space flight, astronomy and aeronautics created by NASA, most of which are not copyrighted.

License: Public Domain

Tips for Use

• Choose Content and select what type of material you are looking for (i.e. AudioImagesVideo, etc). 
• Search results can be further refined using the Filters after typing keywords in the enter search terms field.
 • A free account is necessary to download.

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

Restricted

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search for free photos and videos field to get started.
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

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

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the Search… field, use the Filter button to select Videvo Attribution License and CC BY 3.0 under License Type.
• Information about licensing details is specified alongside each video when previewing.

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

Restricted

Tips for Use

• While crediting is not required, linking back is encouraged, where possible (in the context of academic projects, crediting is often better).
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

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: Creative Commons

Attribution 4.0

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search free stock videos field.
Sponsored content by Shutterstock is not included in the materials available under Dareful’s licensing.

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

Restricted

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search field.
Sponsored content by iStock is not included in the materials available under Mazwai’s licensing.

3D Assets

Adobe Stock offers thousands of professional photos, illustrations, vector graphics and more. Penn State students, faculty and staff can request access to download these items for free.
License: Royalty Free

Details

The Unity Asset store contains a library of free and commercial assets that Unity Technologies as well as members of the user community create.

License: Free and Paid

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the Search for assets field, use the Free assets checkbox under Pricing if you are looking only for no-cost options.

Click the + button for more tips!

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

License: Free and Paid

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the search 3d models field, look for the Free tag under your search result thumbnails to ensure that objects are no-cost options.

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

License: Free and Paid

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the Search the world’s best collection field, choose the Price dropdown and select Free to display on no-cost models. 

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

License: Free and Paid

Tips for Use

• After entering your keyword(s) in the Search 3D models field, check the Free box to display only no-cost objects.

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

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search Thingiverse field.
• When you download, licensing details and credits will be reviewed in a pop up window.

The NIH 3D Print Exchange provides models in formats that are readily compatible with 3D printers, and offers a unique set of tools create and share 3D-printable models related to biomedical science.

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• Choose Discover from the main navigation to browse and search models.
• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search field.

Here you will find a growing collection of 3D models, textures, and images from inside NASA. All of these resources are free to download and use.

License: Public Domain

Tips for Use

• Choose 3D Models to browse downloadable objects, and enter your keyword(s) in the Search Models field.
• For models that you can print, choose printable models from the call out on the top of the 3D Models landing page.

Scan the World is an ambitious initiative whose mission is to archive objects of cultural significance using 3D scanning technologies, producing an extensive platform of content suitable for 3D printing.

License: Creative Commons

Various

Tips for Use

• Enter your keyword(s) in the Search the collection field.
• After selecting a model, choose Download Only in the What’s your download preference? pop up window.

The Smithsonian is begining to share high quality 3D scans from its collection as printable STL files and virtual 3D tours.

License: Public Domain

Tips for Use

• Browse by Museums or Collections to narrow down the types of 3D objects that are displayed.
• Enter your keyword(s) in the site-wide search by clicking the magnifying glass at the top right corner.

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.