Finding Free Content Online


Public Domain, Free Use and Copyleft Media

It feels good to get free stuff. In fact that’s probably why many of us get on the Web in the first place. But behind the usual blogs and Web sites lies untold fortunes of free-use content, all available for you to use legally and with a clean conscience. All the resources you need are there, whether to explore literature spanning the human experience or to find thousands of photos to spice up any project. There are even sites to help you understand all the copyright snags you might encounter along the way.

Definitions of Public Domain, Fair Use, and Copyleft

There are hordes of that ubiquitous stuff called "content" on the Web for the taking. ... read more »

Finding Free Content Online

Ideally all the free-use content in the world would be accessible and searchable from one massive granddaddy of a site. Believe it or not, that is what a few organizations are attempting to create. While we're not yet there-not by a long shot-these sites have taken the first steps toward that end. They'll help you search and browse your way through a growing body of free-use content.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Many Web sites, particularly broad ones such as these, have different criteria for searching free-use content. If you don't find what you want on one, try another.
  • General free-use sites such as these are just that: general. Many other, more specialized sites exist. Check out the following sections if you have a more specific idea of what you're looking for.
  • Free does not always mean free-use. Unless you're on a trusted Web site with a known license policy, always check the copyright of a specific work yourself. In the end you-and no one else-are responsible for what you use.

Dulcinea's Picks

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Public Domain Photos and Other Free-Use Images

With the spread of digital cameras, everyone has become a photographer-and photographers love to ... read more »

Finding Free Books and Public Domain Literature

Though visual and audio media certainly rule the Web these days in terms of sheer quantity, there's ... read more »

Public Domain Music and Free Audio Downloads

The Internet is a noisy place, with many audio offerings such as sound effects, midi clips and ... read more »

Free-Use Video and Film

With the proliferation of broadband access, digital video recorders like TiVo, and the massive ... read more »

The Free-Use Movement

Now that you've seen what the free-use world has to offer, you might want to get more involved ... read more »

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