Articles, Blog

Webinar – How to Find Free (and Legal to Use) Images and Media Online – 2015-04-23

September 5, 2019

Welcome to How to Find Free (and
Legal to Use) Images and Media Online. My name is Becky Wiegand and I am the Webinar
Program Manager here at TechSoup Global. I’ve been with the organization for 6
years, 7 years almost, and prior to that spent a decade working at small nonprofits
in Washington DC and Oakland California. I am happy to be your host today and you will also
see on the backend joining us is Ale Bezdikian. She will be chatting with you throughout
the webinar and she is our Interactive Events and Video Producer here at TechSoup Global. She
will be on hand to help you answer questions, flag them for follow-up in our Q&A, and help
make sure that you are well served on the backend of the webinar. Now a look at our presenters
for today. We are joined by a really expert panel of folks who will talk about various places
to find and use legal images and media online. The first is Jayne Park who leads
Creative Commons’ Platform Initiative which seeks to create easy, clear, and enjoyable
ways for users to contribute to the Commons. Previously, Jayne launched The School
of Open, a global community of volunteers that runs free education programs on the meaning
and application of open for creative endeavors, education, and research. As a founding volunteer
of P2PU she has designed and led courses on creative nonfiction writing,
Creative Commons for educators, and designing collaborative workshops. We are
glad to have her and her expertise on with us today. We also have Cheyenne Hohman who is
the Managing Dir. of the Free Music Archive which was founded 5 years ago by WFMU,
a noncommercial free-form radio station in Jersey City New Jersey. The goal of the
Free Music Archive is to provide a platform for Creative Commons licensed music to
be discovered, downloaded, and shared. The resource is used by thousands of
individuals daily, including remix artists, independent filmmakers, radio DJs, podcast
personalities, and users that want to find new artists. She is also the host and producer
of Radio Free Culture, a weekly podcast that examines the intersection
of digital media and the arts. We are also joined by TechSoup’s Jim
Lynch who over his long career at TechSoup has been involved in creating all
of TechSoup’s environmental programs, and has written several pieces
about different aspects of everything from where to source images and
media, to telework, to refurbishing, and how to revolutionize the workplace and
nonprofit life with free and reused resources in the world. So we are really happy to have
him on. He has been interviewed extensively over the years on computer recycling,
telework, and a variety of green topics by the Wall Street Journal, National Public
Radio, PC World magazine, and many others. So he will be on to share some of TechSoup’s
resources that have been created in addition. A look at where we are, we have TechSoup staff
located in our San Francisco headquarters office. And we have as I mentioned, Cheyenne is
over in New Jersey. And go ahead and chat in to let us know where you are joining us from
today. We love to see folks from all over the world and all over the country participating in our
events. Right now we have around 260 people on. We have folks saying they are from Arizona,
Oregon, Georgia, Pittsburgh, Illinois, Los Angeles, Virginia, all over the country. Thank you so
much everyone for joining us and for chatting in. A look at our agenda for today, we’ll
do a quick introduction to TechSoup and then we will talk about the spectrum of
licenses, Creative Commons, Flickr, Wikimedia, and many more places you can search for
images and media that you need to use for your own resources. We’ll have
an introduction to Free Music Archive, and then we will talk about additional
sites for free and public domain media and share some photo tips. We
will have time for Q&A at the end, but we may sprinkle some questions
throughout. So feel free to ask them when the moment moves you. TechSoup Global is a
global nonprofit of 63 partners around the world serving 121 countries. And we are doing that
in providing resources, support, technology, and knowledge for those social benefit
organizations. You can learn more about our work in our 2014 Year in
Review. We are working all over the world. So if you see a dot on this map that is
near you, check us out at or TechSoup Global to find a partner or
a NetSquared local meet up in your area. We’ve served 615,000 NGOs to the tune of nearly
$5 billion in technology products and grants to this greater good sector. So I am proud
to be a staff person and I’m also proud to have been a recipient of many of those
donations at the small nonprofits I worked for prior to joining TechSoup. You can learn more
about our donation programs at And if you are joining us from a
public library, you can also learn about our library specific programming
at On to the topic at hand, go ahead and click on any
one of these. You can select any that apply to you. So tell us where you currently source
images or media whether that is music clips or stock video footage. Go ahead and click to let
us know where you are finding things currently. And if there are other places feel free to chat
them in the comments. We don’t have the ability to have more than 10 options on this list and
we know there are lots of places to source, so let us know where you’re finding things.
We have some folks mentioning in the chat window MorgueFile, Canva, Photobucket, Public
Library Holdings, All Free, Pixabay, Facebook, private photos, so lots of places, CreativeSwap.
We won’t go through every exhaustive place to find images and media online,
but we will mention many today. We hope that you will learn something
from what is shared in today’s webinar. I am going to go ahead and get to the search
results in just a moment. I want to make sure that everybody has the opportunity to respond.
We know that you can’t see one another’s chat comments and notes, but if we see
that you are sharing something useful that would be good for the rest of the audience to
know, we will try and share that back out as well. Other folks are mentioning the Library
of Congress,, lots of different places mentioned. So I’m
going to show the results now and it looks like a great majority are using Google Images which
can be a little tricky but it is good to know. A bunch are using paid stock photo
sites or Creative Commons and others, anywhere on the Internet, public domain. Those are
the big ones that are sticking out on this survey so far. So thank you for sharing that. So
with that in mind I would like to go ahead and introduce our first presenter and have Jayne
Park from Creative Commons join us on the line to talk to us a little bit about this spectrum of
licenses and how to understand it little bit better so that when you are using images you know
that you are doing it legally and safely so that you don’t get your yourself
or your organization into any trouble and how you can also then share your own media
out in a way that allows other users to use them if you so choose. Thanks so much for joining
us today. Welcome to the program Jayne. Jayne: Hi, so hi everyone. Thanks
for joining and thanks for having me. So I am going to go over sort of the basics
of Creative Commons and how it is grounded in copyright law, and how the
images that you are finding online you can find them under Creative
Commons licenses to use for free as long as you follow the conditions. So first
things first, how I like to explain Creative Commons to people in the simplest way possible is that I
like to say we make sharing media online easy, legal, and scalable. When I say media I mean anything
that you can create and put into a tangible form. So that includes all the images, photos, but
also things like video, music, podcasts, books, and even scientific research articles. Pretty
much anything that you can create and record that is media you can share
using Creative Commons. But before I dive into explaining what
Creative Commons is and how it works I want to give you some background on
copyright law because Creative Commons is built on top of copyright law and
because the current copyright landscape doesn’t make it exactly easy for you
to share media online, or to figure out what you can do with stuff
that you do find online. So we have all seen this symbol, the
all rights reserved copyright symbol with that accompanying phrase. So
we are all familiar with the symbol but not everyone is actually a familiar
with how copyright law actually works. So for those who don’t know, copyrights is
a set of exclusive rights granted to creators of original works of authorship. And
those creators reserve all these rights. And these rights include the following,
the right to distribute a copy of a work, to perform or display a copy publicly, to adapt
a copy in some way which means to translate, edit, or remix it. Basically, whenever you want
to do anything with a copy of a creative work, you are required under copyright law to
obtain the explicit permission of the creator or the copyright owner. And copyright
just like Creative Commons covers all forms of creativity including literature, music, architecture
and choreography. So basically any creativity that you can set into a tangible
form, that is covered by copyright law. And here are a few facts that not everyone
knows about copyrighting and how it works in the United States and also in
many other places around the world. Copyright is automatic which means that in the US
it is granted to you at the instance of creation. You do not have to publish it or
register it with any governmental office. You automatically are granted copyright as
soon as you finish writing that blog post or taking that picture. And the rights
that you are granted are all rights reserved which means you reserve all rights to your
creative work and your rights last a very long time. In the US it lasts your entire life +70 years
after you pass on, and it lasts for 120 years for works owned by corporations such as
Walt Disney. So every time a copyright is about to expire and your work is about to
enter the public domain, the length of time keeps getting extended at the government
level. Companies like Disney lobby Congress and that’s how the copyright
law lasts so long today. So there is this tension that exists. Copyright
law keeps getting more restrictive over time whereas technology is making it
easier and easier to share over time. So copyright was created before the Internet
and you have these outdated copyright laws governing the digital landscape that we
have today. So there is tension that exists between technological change and the
law. So that is where Creative Commons comes into the picture. Creative Commons is a
really simple standardized and legally robust way that creators can use to grant
copyright permissions to their media and other types of creative content. It really exists
between the space of all rights reserved copyright that I just went over and the public
domain. So the public domain for those who aren’t as familiar, it is full of works created
before our current copyright law was instated, so works like Grimm’s Fairy Tales or
the Holy Bible and any works created by the US federal government. So for example,
all the space images that are taken by NASA are in the public domain automatically
because they were created by the US Government. But before Creative Commons you only had these
2 options. You could either give all your rights away, put them in the public domain or you could
reserve all your rights under all rights reserved copyright. Now with Creative Commons you
are in the space between where you can keep your copyright while giving permission for
certain uses to the public. So that is how and why Creative Commons came into being,
to give creators more options and flexibility on how to share their work.
And we do that through our copyright licenses of which there are 6 copyright licenses and
they are made up of 4 different elements. You can mix and match these 4 elements to result
in 6 licenses. And those 4 elements are attribution, share alike, noncommercial, and no derivatives. All
of our licenses contain the element of attribution which requires you to give credit to the original
creator. And then on top of that you can choose to add one or more of the other 3 conditions. So
for example if you want to prohibit commercial use of your work and you want to reserve commercial
rights, you would add the noncommercial condition. If you want to require that
people who remix or translate your work also share their derivative work the same exact
way, you would add the share alike condition. And if you want your work to be
redistributed without any changes being made you would add the no derivatives condition. So
those are the 4 basic elements that mix and match to legally produce 6 possible
combinations of Creative Commons licenses. And this is the entire spectrum of cc licenses
that we offer that you can use for free to attach to your work. You can see at the
top underneath the public domain dedication which I will go into in a second is our most open
license which is a Creative Commons attribution license. That means you can basically do anything
that you want with my work. You can tweak it, remix it, you can even use it for commercial
purposes, but you have to give me credit. And at the bottom is the most restrictive
license which is Creative Commons attribution noncommercial no derivatives which
means that you can’t sell my work. You can’t make derivative works without my
permission. You can only redistribute my work verbatim as long as you give me credit.
And then in between there are more options. And then at the very top there is our public
domain dedication tool which is also called cc zero and that is not a license but it is a legal tool
that you can use to waive all of your copyrights in a work if you so choose. So
that won’t apply to most people. A lot of institutions do use it however. So this
is cc zero. This is what the symbol looks like. Basically you use this tool if you want to waive
all your copyrights effectively dedicating your work to the public domain. So a very recent use case
of this that you may have heard about is SpaceX. SpaceX is a contractor for NASA but
they are not the federal government so they take a lot of pictures of space for NASA.
But because they are not the federal government their images are not automatically
considered public domain. But the public recently found out about these photos and
they thought, well these photos should also be in the public domain because they are technically
contracted by NASA and so SpaceX agreed and said that they would put their images into the
public domain. But because there isn’t a legal way for them to do that except for using our public
domain education tool, they decided to use cc zero to waive all their copyrights in those images
and dedicate their images to the public domain. So if you go to the SpaceX website or
you go to SpaceX’s account on Flicker, you can find all those images in the public
domain that they use to put in there using cc zero. So that is a really neat use case there. Let me just check on time really
quickly. How are we doing Becky, on time? Do I have time to go into
these next few slides? Becky: Yeah, I think you do. We are right
on time. So great, you can keep going. Jayne: Awesome. So the other thing I wanted
to mention is that Creative Commons licenses including our public domain dedication tool are
really designed for the Internet age in mind. We were founded in 2001. So even that is a long
time when you consider the digital landscape and how fast it turns over. But we really
designed the licenses so it could be read by not only lawyers, and not only humans, but also
machines. So you can see this is a 3 layer license design that we have. So at the base of our license
it is a core legal tool. And this means that this is what everyone around the world who
is a lawyer or a court of law would read. So if you wanted to take a Creative
Commons license to court based on something, this is what they would use. So it is legally
operable internationally in over 75 countries and it is aligned to international
copyright laws. So it is very legally robust. But then on top of that, because most
people in the world are not lawyers we have a human readable summary.
We call it the human readable deed. It is a summary of all of the most important
terms and conditions on the legal license in a language that normal human
beings like you and me can understand. And you can see there that it kind of summarizes
the attribution license. You are free to share as long as you give me credit
which is pretty simple to understand even for elementary age kids. And then the last
layer, but probably one of the most important layers for the Internet age is our machine
readable metadata. And this is just a simple snippet of HTML code that summarizes the license,
and its terms and conditions into language that search engines can understand. So this
is what Google’s advanced search would use to find cc licensed content on the web and this
is what will help you discover cc licensed content online which I will also go over in a few
slides. The good news is you don’t have to come up with this code yourself. We have a tool that spits it
out for you. All you have to do is copy and paste it into your webpage if you are publishing
your work under Creative Commons licenses. And if you are searching for cc license content
than this layer is really invisible to you as long as you use one of our search
tools. So as I mentioned previously, our licenses are operable around the
world. These are just some of the countries that our licenses have been aligned
to their copyright laws, but of course, if they haven’t been aligned to a
specific jurisdiction’s copyright laws, they’ve been aligned to international [indistinct]
convention laws. So it’s pretty much the Creative Commons licenses exist
built on top of current copyright law. And then this next slide is a slide from
a report, State of the Commons report that we issued last year in 2014 where we
got data from platforms and search engines, and we found that that there were at
least 882 million Creative Commons licensed works out there, so videos, images, scientific data
reports, you name it. That’s how many works exist out there on the World Wide Web. And they
are all kinds of media as you can see here, photos, scientific data, music. And we
found that 58% allowed commercial use. The trend is that since 2001 since Creative
Commons was founded, more and more people are allowing commercial use of their works. And
even 76% are allowing adaptations of their works. So Creative Commons is really facilitating
people to collaborate together to remix and build on each other’s works. So where can you find all these millions
and millions of works? The main search tool that I will point you to is It is not quite a search engine but more of
a portal to other search engines and platforms that have enabled Creative Commons licensing.
So you can see there that you can search a variety of platforms such as Wikimedia
Commons, Google Images, Flicker, Sound Cloud, YouTube. We are actually in the middle
of improving the Creative Commons search so that you don’t have to click on the
specific repository. Pretty soon we hope that it will just search the entire web on cc
license content at once. So just stay tuned for that, but you can still use in the meanwhile. You can go directly to platforms. You
don’t have to go through our search tool. If you are looking for Flicker images you
can go directly to and browse by cc license. You can
also go into their advanced search. Flicker has an advanced search way you can
kind of click and search by license as well. Flicker is probably the biggest platform
of Creative Commons licenses on the web and they recently actually implemented
the cc public domain dedication tool and issued the public domain mark so you
can now also search for public domain images on Flicker in addition to our 6 copyright licenses.
Another platform and this is more for video is Vimeo. Vimeo has high quality
Creative Commons licensed videos. You can browse at
for cc licensed videos, but they also have cc licenses embedded,
or enabled in their advanced search. So you can go ahead and do
that as well at their website. Another rich resource of Commons images and
other kinds of media is Wikimedia Commons. This is the repository that actually
fields all of the media for Wikipedia. So pretty much anything guaranteed is under
Creative Commons, or in the public domain, or under some other open license.
If you go to Wikimedia Commons you can find something
that you can reuse. And if you want to publish your own work under
Creative Commons or just kind of play around with what license you might choose for
your own work in the future you can go to And that
is our chooser tool to help you decide what kind of license you might want to choose. And
this is the tool that will spit out the HTML code. So if you have a blog or a webpage and
you want to add the cc licensed to it, you can just copy and paste that into your
webpage editor and it will show up automatically with the license icon and link automatically.
We are also probably going to be revamping this chooser tool as well,
just FYI for the future. And if you have any other questions about how
Creative Commons got started or our Mission, our Vision, because we have a lot of
programs and projects that go on in addition to legally developing and updating our licenses,
you can check them out at We have a lot going on that I cannot possibly
get into on this call but I am happy to answer your questions at any point. So why don’t I pause
there. I don’t know if there are some questions in the chat that I can
get to now or later. Becky: Yes. We have a whole bunch of questions
lining up in chat and we will do our best to get through them during the bigger Q&A, but
I would like to ask a couple before we move on to our next speaker. Is there a cutoff date
that if something is – somebody mentioned having a bunch of old images from the early
1900s, 1903, 1904 and that those images were then used in a publication in
1985 but didn’t have any attribution. Would they have to get permission if they
are originally passed that cutoff date? And what is that year if there is one
when something is automatically moved into the public domain? Jayne: Yeah, so the year is 1923, generally
speaking. Most works that were created before 1923 are considered public
domain, but there are exceptions. So I don’t know about the specific
case. I would have to look at it. And I couldn’t give you any definitive answer,
but generally speaking, before 1923 those images would be in the public domain. There is actually
a public domain slider tool that I am going to find right now and paste it into chat where you
can use to calculate whether something you find is in the public domain. So
let me go ahead and find that. Becky: And in the chat, I said the safest bet
even if the images maybe don’t require attribution because they are public domain, may
be the publisher of the book in 1985 is worth reaching out to to make sure that
you’ve got permission to reprint something that they have printed. So I think
always when in doubt, you should ask. That’s always my safe cover your butt legal
opinion here, to be a little crude about it. But I think it’s really important that any time
you are not sure, the best method is to ask, ask the creator, ask the publisher,
ask the owner of whatever it is. So let’s do just 2 more questions and
then we will move onto the next speaker. We will keep all of those questions in
queue for the Q&A. We have a bunch of people asking about how do you attribute when you
are giving credit for Creative Commons images, and does that have to be on the same
page, immediately beneath the image, or is it okay to have a page that just
has image attributions for your whole site? What is the right way to do that
if you have some guidance on that? Jayne: Yeah, so I just put in a link into the chat.
We have some practices for attribution guidelines at Creative Commons. The simplest way
is kind of be reasonable by medium. And the acronym I like to use with everyone,
especially elementary age kids is TASL, which stands for title, author, source, license.
So just kind of following that guideline. You always want to include the author’s name.
You always want to include a link to the license that you found the work under so that other people
who find that image will know exactly what they can and can’t do with it. But those are the best
attribution guidelines right there in the chat. Becky: Terrific. And then one more before
we move on and we will try to get to some of the others a little bit later as
well. If you are a library or a nonprofit, are you considered a noncommercial endeavor?
And are you still, like maybe you have workshops or classes that you may charge a fee
for, does that make you commercial, or are you a noncommercial entity based on
your tax status? How does that definition work? Jayne: So the noncommercial condition
doesn’t hinge on the type of user. You could be an institution. You could be a
for-profit company. You could be an individual. It doesn’t matter who you are. It matters what
your use is. So if you’re use is commercial, if you are making money off of the work. It
doesn’t hinge on whether you are an institution or a for-profit or nonprofit. You can make a
noncommercial use even if you are a for-profit. I can’t really interpret the noncommercial condition
beyond that for you. It is defined in the license feed and I will pull it up right
now and send you a link to that. Basically it says a commercial use is one
primarily intended for commercial advantage or monetary compensation. So I know that is a
little bit vague but there are certain use cases – so there is a link to one of our noncommercial
licenses and there are pop-ups there that explain it a little bit further. And I can try and
see if I can find some additional guidelines around what a noncommercial use is or not on
our FAQ and put those into the chat as well. Becky: You know, we often have folks
email us here at TechSoup and say, “Hey can we reprint this article? We know that it
is licensed Creative Commons, but I’m a professor and I am putting this into a guide with a bunch
of other articles and I am charging $20 for it. Is it okay for me to use that?” And as the licensed
owner we can say sure. We can tell them yes. We can always give permission if we want to. So
if you are not sure and you want to make sure, reaching out to the author and saying hey,
we are doing this specific thing. Is it okay for us to use that? And many of these
sites, the author information is right there, or they are linked as a user and you can message
them directly through Flicker, or message them directly through whatever the tool is to ask. So
it doesn’t have to be scary to reach out and ask. So I am going to move us forward so we don’t
get too far off time but we will try and get back to more questions. Go ahead and participate in
this quick poll for us. Choose your favorite genre from this list. And if it is not on this list,
go ahead and chat in your favorite music genre. And then we will have our next presenter
Cheyenne Holman from Free Music Archive come in to talk to us a little bit about
where to find end source free music to use. And this is particularly useful if you are
creating videos, or video clips, or screen casts, or pod casts, where you want to
have some background music in there, if you have music on a page on your website,
anything you might be doing where music would lend some inspiration to your work. She
will talk to us a little bit about how to find different types of music. So I’m going to give just
a couple more seconds for those who want to click on their screen and participate. We have folks
chiming in, R&B, gospel, hymns, contemporary, Christian, folk, so lots of things that are on this
list. Like I said, we were limited to 10 options on my list. But I’m in a go ahead and skip to the
results and show that we have a lot of rock fans in the group and quite a few pop and classical
fans. I’m with the classical. It’s my favorite. So with that I would like to have our next
speaker Cheyenne Hohman from the Free Music Archive join us to talk to us a little bit about
the resources available through their site. Thanks so much for joining
us today. Welcome Cheyenne. Cheyenne: Yeah, thanks Becky. So if some of
you in the earlier sort of poll were asked where you got some of your content from. And
I think we barely scraped the double digits. I think we were at 11 or 12
respondents for the Free Music Archive. So I am happy to be telling a lot
of people about this great resource. We’ve been around for a few years. And
I am going to go over the search page and how to use an artist page because I’m
really excited to share with you this resource that I don’t know how many of you are familiar
with. So about us, we are a small nonprofit with a giant music library. It is affiliated with
WFMU which is a noncommercial free-form radio station out of Jersey City, New Jersey. That’s where
our offices are. We have more than 80,000 songs in our collection, so we have a little something
for everyone. And we take a curatorial approach. So we ask artist to apply to be in our collection. It
is not just a giant sort of repository for everything. There are a lot more resources in other
places on the web. We also have art museums and record labels, and venues, and more that
act as curators as well so they bring in artists that they are familiar with. Most of the tracts
listed on the Free Music Archive are licensed under a Creative Commons license in some
form. And we have new music every day. So back to our genre question, I asked
everybody kind of what their favorite genre was. Here is our genre search tool and so you can filter
by this tool by choosing the brightly colored boxes of your favorite genre. But we have way, way more
than this. This is just sort of the most basic or most broad genre selection that we
have. So if you want to search for a genre if you are looking for something very
general you are welcome to use this function. You can also search by curator or in some
cases by specific use. So I have an arrow here listing the music for video curator. And everything
that is in this is sort of a catchall category for things that are licensed to be used in
video clips. So if you want to make a short film about a project that your organization’s
doing, or you want to sort of show case some art that was made in an art class that you
held or something, you can look in the music for video category and determine from there. You
can kind of drill down and see what it is you want. We have a lot of really skilled composers that
have contributed to the Free Music Archive. And I am happy to make
suggestions if anybody ever wants. So you can browse by curator. Different curators
have a different sort of field for what type of music they have, so you can help
yourself. So this is the search page. If you click on the “Go” button which is right
here, this will take you right to this page. Everything is listed in order by the date that
it was added, so the things that were posted today or yesterday or most recently will be at the top
and everything else follows. You can filter these and drill down by genre. You can also use a couple
of different search functions that I’m about to show. So you can search by tempo, by beats per minute.
So if you want something that is really fast paced, you can search by BPM. This is kind of a fund tool
to look through if you want something that’s really, really fast-paced or something that is sort of more
moderate, or you want something that kind of flows gently, you can look by the beats per
minute which is what BPM stands for here. You can also look by license. And we have
a nice selection of licenses you can search by including attribution only. You can look
for public domain work. You can look for work that allow for commercial use or in a remix
or video. So those can be really useful if you are looking for something for a very specific
use and not something that you are looking for in an aesthetic way. So once you pick
an artist you will see the artist page. I’ve picked here a wind quintet. And you can
see that they have a picture and one album in their discography on the Free Music Archive.
So this collection was posted, if you look down on the left side you can see the curator
and some more information about them below their artist picture. When you look
down here you will see if they are active, if they have chosen to give any sort of
information to get a hold of them etc. And then when you click down on the other
side you will see a little bar that says “license and more information.” And this is
really important because though everything on a Free Music Archive is free for download
and stream, it is not all licensed for video, it’s not all licensed for remix, it is not all
licensed for reuse. So that is where this comes in. You click on this button and you will see
the little Creative Commons icon will come up that is in line with how this is licensed. And
it will show you, we actually have a link too. So this one is listed under an attribution share
alike license. And when you click on where it says attribution share alike you will be
transported to the Creative Commons license page which gives you a very elaborate or
simple depending on your preference, page explaining the exact terms
of the license if you are unclear. If you want to use a piece beyond the
scope of the license that is presented here, you can contact the artist. We recommend that you
do a web search if you can’t find them right away. Anyone who contacts me to get contact
information for an artist, I will basically end up doing a web search for you. If you look
for the website related with the artist, or you manage to find them in a web search,
you can find their contact page typically. Or you can sometimes find an “email this artist”
or a “contact artist” link on our Free Music Archive profile for them. Otherwise, we do have
sometimes trouble tracking down artists if there bands have broken up, or their projects
are kind of dormant. So it is not a sure fire way but there are so many artist that are active and
that are easy to get a hold of that if you are willing to be a little flexible, you
can definitely find something. And that’s all that I’ve got for now. If
anyone has any questions before we move on I am very open to Fielding questions. Becky: Thank you so much for that Cheyenne.
You zipped right through a lot of great stuff. We had some folks, one participant chatted
in that both her and their video producer who has been around for 20 years
doing this are huge fans of your work. So we are really glad to hear that. And we did
have a couple of questions. One person asked is there children’s music in Free Music
Archive? Can you search for that by category? Cheyenne: Yeah. We actually have a curator
called Kazoomzoom which is specifically for kids. But I would say that most of the music, especially
instrumental stuff, all the classical things and things in a lot of genres are kid friendly. But
music directly or specifically intended for children is mostly Kazoomzoom. And there are a couple
of compilations in there and a couple albums that I think actually actually feature
children as singers or as co-creators. So yeah, that’s a fun curator
page to bounce through. Becky: I love the name too, Kazoomzoom. It
sounds fun. It sounds like great happy peppy stuff that you find in there. Terrific. Let’s see if
there are any other questions before we move on that are specific to Free Music Archive.
Somebody asked, mentioned that there is an app. Do you have an app for Free Music
Archive that people can search, or maybe that was in
reference to something else? Cheyenne: We do have an app, however, we are
in the process of developing a better one. So if you want to use the one we have now,
it’s functionality is sometimes a little – the account that you have on the current app
isn’t connected to your FMA account on the site, so we are trying to rework it so that you can link
your acct. and basically have consistent favorites and playlists and posts
and things like that. Becky: Terrific. Thanks so much for that.
So I’m going to go ahead and move us along to Mr. Jim Lynch our final speaker. And
then we will have time for your questions that have been stacking up on the
back end. So we appreciate that and we will continue sharing out
additional resources while Jim get started with taking us through the places to find
free and legal images that he has collected. So thanks so much for joining us today
Jim. Take us through your collection. Jim: All right, good to be here. I just
wanted to mention a few things that actually a bunch of people have mentioned on
the chat already. So launching right in, Google advanced image search, and you
can just search on any kind of Google or other web browser and find that. It is really easy
to find. Enormous results go off of that. It let’s you, as I mentioned in the slide, search by
usage rights, so similar to Creative Commons. One thing I found is that when I click on an
image sometimes I would say about 30% of the time I can’t get any clarity on what the usage
rights are for an image that comes up on this. So when I don’t find that clarity
on the Google advanced image search then I basically don’t use the image. So that one is
a little tricky to use. I am getting better and better at kind of saucing that out. They don’t make
it terribly easy and that is perhaps what Becky was talking about but it’s a little tricky to use
this one, but huge enormous results when you get that. The second one I have listed on my slide is
Getty Images. That’s kind of a fantastic resource, also a little bit tricky. Getty is really
designed, it’s a commercial company. It’s really designed for graphic
designers, big companies, publications. They were fantastically lentiginous and lawsuit
prone going after anybody misusing their images by right clicking and just downloading them
and using them. All kinds of people got sued and got cease and desist letters from them.
Fairly recently about a year ago they said okay, we’re going to do something different here and
they mainly open it up to bloggers and tweeters. And the idea was that you could basically use
their images for noncommercial purposes at no cost. And the catch is that you have to use them with
their embed frame called and iframe embed thing. One of the kind of irritating things about
that is that for instance our site on TechSoup can’t accommodate that. So you have to check
to see if the website that you are using or the whatever online thing that you are
using like your email client or something can actually accommodate the iframe
embeds. So that’s another thing about that. The noncommercial thing on this one is pretty
important because Getty is very vigilant about people misusing. And so the noncommercial
thing, I think the rule of thumb is more or less if you are charging for products or services it
is regarded as commercial. If it’s educational or news then it’s probably fine to use
them. One resource that I really love and I found out fairly recently is the Digital
Public Library of America. That’s a nonprofit that is based in Boston I think. And it’s
pretty recent, I think they opened in 2012. They’ve got a ton of stuff. And their images
are really well marked on their license, how they are licensed. They have a
ton of public a domain licensed images and they have other kinds of media and
still images of course. I use them mainly for if I want to use historical images or fine
arts images in my pieces. By the way I use images a lot because I am one of our bloggers and one
of our writers who writes 2 or 3 things per week so I use images all the time. Moving onto the
next slide, so in this slide I basically included a couple of sources that are lists of free
places that I like, Stock Photos the Don’t Suck, I really like. It’s a graphic designer named Dustin
Senos. And he has listed 17 sites that he likes. I won’t go into all of them but they are
definitely worth checking out. And by the way, you should know that we are going to send
you these slides and then you will be able to have these URLs for your own use. So don’t
worry about trying to copy these things down as I breeze through here. Verve is another
one. There is actually a little bit of overlap between these guys and Stock Images That
Don’t Suck. They have some common ones but they also have different ones on this one
more. Pic Jumbo for instance is a great site for abstract images as I mentioned. I love the
name of morgueFile. I use them for animal pictures which is all the rage on the Internet these days.
So if you want to caption an image and turn it into an Internet meme, put a clever bunch of words
below a picture, make it ironic – we love to do that at TechSoup when we can – that’s a good place
for that. I think Sarah Dunn actually chatted in a bunch about the Internet Archive.
She is one of our attendees today. It is similar to the Digital Public Library
of America. It has an advanced search feature. There is in the fantastic amount of stuff on
there. One thing I love about the Internet Archive is it has something called the way
back machine where you can get webpages that go all the way back to the
beginning of the web, the World Wide Web. You can actually go look at what TechSoup looked
like in 1998 if you want to. It looked pretty perky back then. But anyway, it is a great place.
It’s a little harder to search on there. They are working on their interface like crazy.
But the amount of stuff on the Internet Archive is just tremendous and
that is at Let’s see what else we have here. Pixabay
is one of the kind of huge stock sites, and this image of this baboon is from there. They
have a nice kind of list of 20 different categories I like. But I like actually using their search
function more on Pixabay. I like that one. Free Images is an easy to use site and it
has, I don’t think it uses Creative Commons. It’s got its own image license
agreement or open license agreement, and they have just a huge, huge collection there.
And I think the last thing I want to talk about a little bit is the fact that fair use, US copyright
fair use. And that is a thing we use at TechSoup. For instance if we want to put in somebody’s logo
if we are writing about a nonprofit organization, or even a commercial company, then we can
actually use their logo without asking permission or without any need to put in attribution there.
And in addition to that, pictures of products actually are under fair use doctrine.
So if a company has put out a new product and we want to write about it and tell
everybody about it, we can actually use the image of that new product. Or it can be an old product
as well. I usually go to the source on that. So if it is a Samsung product I will go to the
Samsung website. I won’t use a secondary site like CNET or some other kind of review site to
get the image. I’ll go straight to the source. One thing we are really careful to do here
at TechSoup is give pretty good attribution where we found things and where you can
get them, so reiterating a little on this that we always put where we originally got the
image, and we try to put the name of the author if we can. And then we also put in our attribution
the kind of license that is appropriate. So I think that is it for me. Becky: Thank you Jim. We also had a slide, we had
a couple of slides here the just have some info about how we use images. And Jim mentioned
some of this but we didn’t have it on screen for you to see. But these details will also be
in the slide deck that you will get later today. I’m going to move forward just to show
a list of resources that are on TechSoup that are about images and whether you
can use them for websites or newsletter, sources for free images, graphics and images.
I wanted to highlight just a couple quickly. And Jim, you can highlight others as well
if you would like. We have some things around recording audio of your own. If you
are new to that you are looking to do that, creating your own images. Also these include
a lot of the resources that we covered today, finding and using images from the web, how
to choose them, lots of resources there. And for those of you who serve audiences
where you may have minor children, where your patrons or your constituents may
be domestic violence, or homeless populations or more sensitive populations to
having their images used, any population if you are using your own images you
may want to look at model release forms and look at how you can implement those at
your own organization. So we did a webinar about a year ago, may be a little more where
we had a couple of model release samples given to us to use. One is for general population,
one for minors. So I want to point that out in case any of you need that type of thing,
that we have some samples there and a whole bunch of resources around storytelling and
digital media. So check out some of those. Jim did you have any others you wanted to
highlight on this list before we get to Q&A? Jim: Yeah, one thing I use quite a bit is I fiddle
with images, I resize them, I may be put captions under them or on them, things like that.
So the Free Graphics Software and Images is a place where you can find out some
tools, really easy to use free online tools that will allow you to do those kind of manipulations
that you want. Lots of times you have to resize an image or change how it appears on your page a
little bit, and you have to tweak the image some to get it to look right. Becky: Great, and very true. And kind of with that
in mind, we have a lot of questions in the queue and a handful of people have asked, so I’ll have
Jayne approach this one. In regards to cropping, modifying, changing size, are those
considered derivatives if you crop a wide shot into a head shot for example? Do you need
permission to – does it need to be licensed with derivatives permission to do that? Can you
tell us a little bit about what cropping entails with licensing? Jayne: Yeah so I would interpret cropping
and slight modifications as not a derivative. Derivative means it has to be original
enough to merit to be a new creative work. So generally cropping, resizing, things like that,
changing format is definitely not a derivative work. So you can go ahead and do those things even
if it has no derivative permission on it. If you alter it like Shepard Fairey alters it then
yeah, the no derivatives condition would kick in. But even beyond the Creative Commons license
I think Kevin mentioned, if it’s a fair use such as Shepard Fairey was arguing
for his Photoshop Obama’s picture, then Creative Commons licenses don’t prohibit
that. Fair use applies above and beyond Creative Commons licenses. So definitely
feel free to rely on fair use if it’s a parody or something like that. Becky: Great. And you were chatting out
some things broadcasting to all specifically around the logo and fair use, so I just want to
make sure that is clear for folks so they know when they need to ask permission
or how they need to go about that. Can you clarify a little bit of that? Jayne: For logos I was just saying
things like the Creative Commons logo is not governed by copyright right but by
something separate called trademark law. So our Creative Commons logos are not free for
you to share at will. It is actually governed by a trademark policy which means that there
are certain policies like you should link back to Creative Commons if you use our logos,
or link to our licenses when you use our license icons. And that make sense because we don’t
want our brand diluted, so that our licenses are recognizable and clear for people, and it
doesn’t get confusing. So I can paste in a link to what our trademark policies look like as
an example, and what other company’s policies might look like. Becky: Okay. Then our communications, one of our
communications staff is on this webinar listening in too, and mentioned that if there is a branding
guide that an organization has or company has on line about how to use their logo,
you should be following those guidelines. So even if you can use it you want to make
sure that you are not doing things with it that they don’t want you to. So it’s always a
good idea to see if they have media resources like a branding guide or usage guide or if they
post their logos for you to share in a press kit or something like that, that you
are following the instructions. Jim you wanted to add something here? Jim: Yeah. The stuff I have been reading on
usage of logos is that I think the main concern is that all of us should avoid not
impersonating a company or an entity, acting like we are part of them or that logo
belongs to us or is associated to us in any way. So that is kind of the rule of thumb that
I have been coming across in fair use. Becky: Yeah, great. No impersonating.
Unless maybe you are doing a parody and then maybe that would
be acceptable, I’m not sure. Let’s see, so we have a question from
Christopher. So as a media creator how do artists survive by permitting organizations
to use their work without compensation. I guess this would be Jayne and Cheyenne if both
of you or either of you want to chime in on this. How do you still make money off of your images if
you give it away, or do most of them give pieces of it away in hopes of getting a fan
following that then they can charge for? What is the strategy there? Jayne: I can start and then Cheyenne can jump
in. So if your primary goal for sharing your work is to make money off of it, then yeah, then you
probably don’t want to share all your work for free. You want to reserve some rights so that’s
why we have the noncommercial licenses where you can reserve commercial rights. And Becky
is exactly right. So if you are first starting out and you want to spread the word about your
music or your work, you would want to release it under more liberal reuse terms so that people can
feel free to redistribute it and get your name out there. And then you would want to reserve all
rights to other assets that you have that you do want to make money off of. So there are
all kinds of experimental things you can do generally speaking with the Internet
even if you don’t put a cc license on it, if you just put something online, people
share freely anyway. So adding cc license kind of clarifies to the end-user what they can and
can’t do with it and how you want it to be shared. So I think that is one of
the benefits of cc licensing. Becky: Great. Anything else you
want to chime in with that Cheyenne? Cheyenne: Yeah, I was just going to say that
I’ve spoken to a lot of musicians about this. Creative Commons is an opt in thing to start,
and there are conditions you can place on a work that enable people to access it but not
necessarily use it for commercial purposes. I think that ironically almost, the people who
have been sharing under more liberal licenses such as cc BY have had more commercial
success with their work being licensed for use in commercial’s or film. So it’s kind of 6 of one and
half dozen of the other I think as far as music goes. But it is definitely important to remember that
the Creative Commons license isn’t just cc BY, there are 6 different
ones to choose from. Becky: That’s a great reminder. And yeah,
it is important if you are a creator of media or if you are taking photos or if you’re volunteers
or patrons, or constituents are taking photos and letting you use them, that you are
conscientious of how you post the licenses on those. So you’re asking them if they are
the creator, or your staff people as the creator how do you want this licensed if we are posting
this to our flickr feed, or we are posting it to our Instagram, and that you are aware of
that spectrum of licensing you can choose from and how they prefer to be license. So
I am going to go ahead move us forward since we are at the top of the hour. We did
get to a lot of questions but I would love it if you would chat in to let us know
one thing you learned in today’s webinar that you will either take home and do
something with, or try to implement on your own or for your organization’s benefit. And we’d also
like to ask you to pledge to share this information with your colleagues and friends to make
sure they know where they can find free images and media online, and use it legally.
That is what we like to help support. So we appreciate you joining us today. Thank
you so much to Jayne, Cheyenne, and Jim, and also thank you to Ale on the back
end. I’d like to invite you to join as for some of our upcoming webinars and events.
You can join us next week for a conversation about launching your 2015 grants plan with
GrantStation. So if you are looking to learn more about grant writing we will be talking
strategy next Thursday at the same time. The following week we will be talking
about copyrighting for the web, how to write with today’s best practices in
mind so that your audience not only hears you but wants to engage in your Mission and
your work. Then we will be talking about how to think like a search engine and
working on your search engine optimization. Then on May 20 we will be talking about teens and
tech and successful STEM programs in libraries. We have many more coming up beyond that, so watch
our calendar and visit our archives for more. You can visit us at,, on our Facebook, and on our Twitter channel. We really
appreciate you all joining us today. Thank you so much lastly to our webinar sponsor
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that includes this full recording, the slides, and many of the links that we discussed today.
So if you missed any parts watch for that and feel free to share it and pass it along.
TechSoup content is also Creative Commons licensed so you can take our webinars
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well giving us attribution. So thank you so much everyone
and have a terrific day. Bye-bye.


  • Reply Sarah Rogers October 13, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    Im not able to access the beats per minute selection

  • Reply Greg Jay December 10, 2017 at 1:15 am

    What about songs by big artists like hit song instrumentals of say Beatles songs? I have heard them on videos before so I know they exist. Where can one find audio like that? Like a cover of a major song? Funny you mention Verve the band of that name had a song that was a hit Bittersweet that had a melody close to a Christmas version of a Rolling Stones song and Keith sued them and won 100 percent of all the profits. But I am looking for certain songs for non-commercial videos but have them be familiar songs, how can I do this?

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