Finding a photo from the web for your design project is easy. But you cannot simply download and use it, most of them are copyrighted. Some are free but with restrictions. The least restricted free images you can find are those in the public domain.
What is the Public Domain?
The public domain of copyright refers to the aggregate of those works that are not restricted by copyright within a given jurisdiction. A work may be part of the public domain because the applicable term of copyright has expired, because the rightsholder surrendered copyright in the work with a tool like CC0, or because the work did not meet the applicable standards for copyrightability.
In the simple words, it means those works are free for any personal or commercial use, and you’re allowed to edit it if necessary.
This page has a list of websites that offer public domain photos. But before you download and use it, you need to know:
- Be careful with some photos that contain logos and products. Using someone else’s trademark commercially can get you sued.
- If a person is recognizable in an image, a model release must be obtained before using the image for commercial purposes.
- Not all images in the listed websites are in public domain. You should read the information about the image before you download it.