Free-Use Video and Film


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 ... read more »

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 popularity (and often illegality) of video-hosting sites like YouTube, video has speedily come to the fore online. The big movie and TV companies, having learned from the adventures in court of the music industry, have responded in force. That said, if you want to do more than just watch a clip of The Daily Show or a monkey smelling its own poo, the need for legal free-use video is paramount. These sites will aid your search for that perfect clip that will keep you out of court.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • The amount of video content on the Web can be overwhelming, and most of it will run you into legal trouble. The sites listed here are not a guide to that endless sea of clips but instead will help you find legal content you can use and manipulate worry-free.
  • Anyone can grab a clip from their TV and throw it on the Web with a one-liner below it, and unfortunately it seems that everybody does. Don't trust the claims of every Netizen as to the "free-use" of their clip; they probably don't own it and thus can't grant you anything.
  • There are many video formats, and keeping track of them can lead to a headache. A small investment of time (and possibly money) to get all the requisite players and plug-ins before you start trawling for clips will save you the stress of finding that perfect 1930s newsreel that you can't view until you run the gauntlet of media-player pages.

Dulcinea's Picks

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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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