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Tips and Tricks: Public Domain Images

May 22, 2014
by

From our friends at Noupe: the Public Domain Archive is a small but growing site of high quality public domain photographs. Here’s the article in its entirety.

Another source of public domain images is Gratisography. Both of these sites are updated weekly.

Remember, any photo you want to use from a public domain site must still meet GCU’s submission requirements AND you will need to include the source (URL) of the image in your Notes to Reviewers. Before you begin, do your research.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Does the image’s license let you to use/distribute it in any way, including commercial?
  2. Does the image’s quality meet GCU’s Submission Guidelines? (Is it suitable for print?)
  3. Is the image truly in the public domain? (You can run it through Google to check)
  4. Does the image include trademarks, products, copyrighted works of art (for example, the Eiffel Tower at night) or people? If so, don’t use it. In the case of people, don’t use it unless a model release is available.

If you have questions about public domain, we suggest you visit the Public Domain Sherpa.

Edited to add this comment from Doreen Erhardt:

“Great finds Corrie, thank you!!

ARTISTS, PLEASE NOTE TOU for PublicDomainArchive:
Downloading and use of images – All Images provided on PublicDomainArchive are bound to Creative Commons Deed CC0 … You are free to adapt and use the Images for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source.
Under LIMITATIONS: You may not claim ownership of any image in its original state, and you cannot license or sublicense images granting exclusive rights as they are.

Please remember these sites exist for designers like us to create something new, to adapt, to create a derivative work. Therefore taking these images as is and adding a border and text and calling it yours on a greeting card to make money, is considered “claiming ownership in its original state”, so please be creative.

If you need a refresher or examples of derivative works, these might help.
https://gcucommunity.com/2012/01/30/dash-of-inspiration-credit-where-credit-is-due/

https://gcucommunity.com/2013/09/09/dash-of-inspiration-marketability-creative-use-policy/

https://gcucommunity.com/2014/03/17/dash-of-inspiration-dont-be-a-copy-cat/

Thank you Corrie, great sites!”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. May 22, 2014 3:38 pm

    Great finds Corrie, thank you!!

    ARTISTS, PLEASE NOTE TOU for PublicDomainArchive:
    Downloading and use of images – All Images provided on PublicDomainArchive are bound to Creative Commons Deed CC0 … You are free to adapt and use the Images for commercial purposes without attributing the original author or source.
    Under LIMITATIONS: You may not claim ownership of any image in its original state, and you cannot license or sublicense images granting exclusive rights as they are.

    Please remember these sites exist for designers like us to create something new, to adapt, to create a derivative work. Therefore taking these images as is and adding a border and text and calling it yours on a greeting card to make money, is considered “claiming ownership in its original state”, so please be creative.

    If you need a refresher or examples of derivative works, these might help.
    https://gcucommunity.com/2012/01/30/dash-of-inspiration-credit-where-credit-is-due/

    https://gcucommunity.com/2013/09/09/dash-of-inspiration-marketability-creative-use-policy/

    https://gcucommunity.com/2014/03/17/dash-of-inspiration-dont-be-a-copy-cat/

    Thank you Corrie, great sites!

    Doreen
    http://www.SalonOfArt.com
    http://www.facebook.com/salonofart
    http://www.greetingcarduniverse.com/SalonOfArt

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