Images in the Public Domain
January 20, 2007 5:20 AM   Subscribe

A list of sites with public domain images was just posted by a DailyKos user and seems very useful.
posted by brookeb (20 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite
posted by roboto at 5:23 AM on January 20, 2007

Wikipedia does have lots of great resources.

*Wikipedia list of notable books.
*Find a book.
*WikiWorld Comic
posted by stbalbach at 6:06 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

WikiWorld is pretty disappointing. When I first heard about it I thought it would be a humorous look at Wikipedia itself much like this Penny Arcade or this xkcd. Instead it's just random factoids from Wikipedia with OMG drawings!
posted by grouse at 6:11 AM on January 20, 2007

This thread is useless without pictures.

posted by caddis at 6:32 AM on January 20, 2007

In the City of Heroes game they have all kinds of designs that can be used for chest emblems for your hero, but they're limited to public domain images or images that they made in house which can't be easily confused with something copyrighted. Despite millions of different possible costume combinations, the end result is a lot of generic looking heroes with generic looking designs on their generic looking costumes. Unless you are a dues paying member of corporate America, everything is slowly turning more bland, safe and stale. I've grown to despise copyright law.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:37 AM on January 20, 2007

Zounds! Awesome.
posted by The Deej at 6:37 AM on January 20, 2007

...and no please don't free the img tag. Seriously.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:38 AM on January 20, 2007

Well, the link may have been posted to Kos, but this post and the Kos post and the place cited at Kos that the summary was taken from all actually comes from the Wikipedia Public Doman Images Resources page. Personally, I think it's not a particularly good list, neither well summarized nor necessarily in fact all public domain.

I think this is a strange thing to see on Wikipedia...
"Note: Accurate photographs of visual artworks lack expressive content and are automatically in the public domain once the painting's copyright has expired (which it has in the US if it was published before 1923). All other copyright notices can safely be ignored." [my underlining]
I hope wikipedia contributes to the defence in copyright infringement cases.
"Wikipedia told me to ignore the notice, Your Honour"

I think the image pages at (for instance) dmoz and digital librarian are more thorough/extensive. And there's always delicious links to sift through, eg: i, ii.

Copyright is almost always a little tricky and blanket assertions by websites that whole catalogues of images are 'public domain' are not irrefutable and them having said so certainly wouldn't be a defence to a breach of copyright. If you are going to use an image commercially you need to check out its copyright status yourself. 0.02c
posted by peacay at 7:11 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

For those who are interested, Wondermark and (to a lesser extent) Married to the Sea are two webcomics that make good use of such images.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 7:14 AM on January 20, 2007

I hope wikipedia contributes to the defence in copyright infringement cases.
"Wikipedia told me to ignore the notice, Your Honour"

I think Wikipedia is relying on Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. Anyone who sues is far more likely to sue Wikipedia as well, in which case they would have to put up the defense.
posted by grouse at 8:02 AM on January 20, 2007

Thanks grouse, I'd seen passing ref. to that case before. I understand that the case law authority of Bridgeman v Corel extends outside of the States too. I just think it's very weird for wikipedia to leave that assertion on their page. It's tantamount to legal advice.
posted by peacay at 8:22 AM on January 20, 2007

grouse, a lot of people think that owning the actual paper photograph gives them the copyright on the image.

There's one web site out there about a notable female jazz musician from the 20s (Thelma Terry, who fronted Gene Krupa's first band) that claims that every image on their site is owned by her family. Most of the images are clearly owned by MCA's successor as they're promotional stills, but the family is convinced they hold copyright because they're related to Terry and they own the paper photographs.
posted by watsondog at 9:10 AM on January 20, 2007

Thanks - I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised and bookmarked most of the sites.
posted by rougy at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2007

P.S. -

Those high-res images on the ARC site are pretty amazing.
posted by rougy at 9:42 AM on January 20, 2007

O.k these aren't public domain, but they are free and copyright free stock photo resources:
Stock xchng
Morgue File
Free Range Stock
Every Stock Photo
Kavewall Stock

Hope you find them helpful.
posted by NaturalScinema at 10:48 AM on January 20, 2007

peacay and grouse, I opened a discussion on the article's Talk page.
posted by dhartung at 10:53 AM on January 20, 2007

Wonderful image resource brookeb, thanks for the cool post! Definitely marked as a favorite. Found a couple of marvelous/strange images (among thousands)and wanted to share them here: one and two.
posted by nickyskye at 11:42 AM on January 20, 2007

i love morguefile and stock exchange and use them a lot -- the usage restrictions are usually clearly stated on each photo, and they have a wide variety of images.
posted by doplgangr at 1:22 PM on January 20, 2007

The link to a lot of Creative Common resources and some of the DKers seem to think that a Creative Commons license is Public Domain. It is not.

All of my images on flickr are CCed, but they are definitely not Public Domain. If you use them you must attribute, cannot alter them, and you cannot use them for commercial purposes.

The non-commercial stipulation means that they cannot be used on wikipedia.
posted by lilburne at 5:20 PM on January 20, 2007

Great links. Thanks, Brookeb and NaturalScinema.
posted by Area Control at 6:56 PM on January 21, 2007

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