Images, video and music you find on the internet are protected by copyright and your reuse of them is limited by each website's terms of use. If you fail to read the terms of use and reuse the content incorrectly, you could face a copyright infringement claim from the owner.

This guide will help you find content that you can easily retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. Content that is openly licensed with a Creative Commons License, does not require acknowledgement, or is offered copyright free.

How to find openly licensed content?

Use the following methods to find openly licensed content:

  • Browse the websites listed below
  • Search for Creative Commons and public domain content using Openverse
  • Use search filters on popular websites such as Google and YouTube


NameLicence informationAdditional information
Imperial College London Asset Library To support staff and students in their work Usage rights filter in Advanced search
Nappy CC0 license
Free to use, modify and share. There is no need to acknowledge the photographer but doing so is appreciated.
Hosts diverse images
Pexels  Pexels licence
Free to use, modify and share. There is no need to acknowledge the photographer but doing so is appreciated.
Check the photo is free to use and avoid commercial stock photographs
Unsplash  Unsplash licence
Free to use, modify and share. There is no need to acknowledge the photographer but doing so is appreciated.
Avoid the sponsored stock photographs
Noun project Noun project terms of use
Check each icon. Many icons are licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons License if you acknowledge the graphic artist.
Microsoft Office 365 also provides some reusable icons that you can use for work or educational purposes
Reshot Reshot licence
Colour icons licensed for use in social media posts and educational projects.
Acknowedgement is not required under the licence but is seen as polite


NameLicence informationAdditional information
CCMixter Creative Commons or royalty free with a charge Allows you to 'dig' for music for a film, video, game or podcast. Use tags to select different music genres.
Free Music Archive Free Music Archive License Guide
Creative Commons or royalty free with a small charge.
Use the License filter on the search page to find Creative Commons Licensed tracks.
Jamendo Creative Commons or royalty free with a charge Check your use matches the terms of the Creative Commons Licence displayed. It is likely that you will need to pay a fee for commercial use.
BBC Rewind - Sound Effects BBC Rewind Sound Effects Licensing
Use only for non-commercial purposes.


Videos available for download

NameLicence informationAdditional information
Pixabay Simplified Pixabay License that permits commercial and non-commercial use of video content Download and modification permitted. Avoid iStock videos and read the Model- and Property release statement

Reusable video content under a range of licences including Creative Commons 3.0 Unported (CC-BY). License Types and Usage: Full Guide

Download permitted. Use filters to limit your search to free clips. Avoid iStock videos

MixKit MixKit Licence
A easy read licence is displayed for each clip
Download permitted. Designed for social media projects. Video, music and sound effects.
Vidsplay Vidsplay terms of use
Stock video footage can be used free of charge for both personal and commercial projects. 
Download and editing permitted. Acknowledgement required. Avoid Shutterstock videos.

Videos available for embedding only

NameLicence informationAdditional information
TED Talks Unless otherwise indicated, TED content is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial, NoDerivatives license Embed only. You may use TED talk in class discussion but may not build an online course based on their content. Some TED content is available on YouTube. TED Talks Usage Policy
Vimeo Vimeo includes Creative Commons licensed videos

Search and then filter the results by licence, or browse Vimeo’s Creative Commons section. While a video creator can permit download, most switch off this functionality and no download button is displayed. Vimeo does not disrupt video viewing with advertising.



Science, engineering and medicine

NameLicence informationAdditional information
CSIRO Science Image
Images of industry, landscapes, agriculture and nature
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) CSIRO are an Australian research organisation
CERN Media resources
Images of particle physics and computing

Terms of Use for CERN Audiovisual Media
Free educational use is permitted but CERN retain copyright

Reproduce the displayed copyright statement in your image credits

e.g. Conditions of Use © 1994 CERN

Images of space and space travel

Media Usage Guidelines
Non-commercial educational or informational use is permitted. Acknowledge NASA as the source of the material.

Check image metadata as there is also some copyright content on the site

Servier Medical Art
Medical diagrams
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License Diagrams can be downloaded and inserted into documents and slides
The Cell Image Library
Cells and cellular processes
Images, animations and videos are licensed under a range of licences, including Creative Commons Licenses. Check image metadata.

Interactive cells provide a novel way of finding an image. No license filter available. The website would like to be notified when you use one of their images

US Government websites

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Public Health Image Library (PHIL)

US Department of Agriculture

US Government images and videos are in the public domain and therefore free from copyright restrictions.

You must credit the department as the source.

US government websites are suggested because UK government departments do not offer images for reuse. Even though UK Government images are generally licensed under the Open Government Licence, a licence similar to a Creative Commons Attribution License, see  Image copyright standards for GOV.UK
Wellcome Collections Images are licensed under a range of licences including public domain and Creative Commons. Use post-search image filters to filter for images in the public domain or licensed with a Creative Commons License.

Arts and culture

NameLicence informationAdditional information
European cultural heritage

Licence is displayed as a digital badge or on the Museum’s website.
Acknowledge the creator and source of each image and follow the Public Domain Usage Guidelines.

Many cultural heritage organisations release images of their collections under a Creative Commons License. How to Search Europeana will help you find relevant content. Use the search filter ‘Can I use this?’ to find easy to reuse images.

Metropolitan Museum
Large art gallery in New York

Read Image and Data Resources and look for an OA label under the image as this indicates the work is in the public domain.

The museum provides some pre-curated collections e.g. Impressionist and winter wonderland to get you started.
A national collection of over 140,000 images from over 300 art and design collections across the UK
VADS Terms of use
Educational and research use only.

Do not redistribute images on the web or via social media. See VADS About for help with searching.

Wikimedia Commons
Media file repository of available public domain and freely licensed educational media content (images, sound, and video clips).
Media files are licensed with a range of open licences. Check the description of each one.

Advanced search option and search filters, including licence. Guidance on searching in Help