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Learning Portal - Digital Skills : Free Media

Free Media

Whether you’re working on an assignment or a personal project, there are images, audio, video, and tools that you can use for free as long as you attribute the source in your work. Check out each tab to find out how to find and use each type of media. Make sure you also look at the Creative Commons and Citing box for information about one of the most common licensing systems that creators use to make assets free to use. These licences will let you know what you can and can’t do with an asset.

 

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Using Free Media

Images

You don't need to be a photographer or a graphic designer to embed beautiful visuals in your schoolwork or personal projects. Use the resources below to find that perfect picture without the worry of infringing on copyright.

Some of these websites have only free images, while others have a mix of free and traditional copyright works. Make sure you filter your search to free images (such as Creative Commons licensed images) and you read what you are allowed to do with the image. 
 

Photographs

Icons & Cliparts

Audio

There is a lot of audio available online, but it’s not all available for use. The resources below contain royalty-free audio and can be used for background music or sound effects in presentations and videos. Make sure you attribute the creators correctly. 

Video Clips

Use the resources below to find free stock videos that can be downloaded and used for your projects.

Tools 

You can use the free tools below to edit and work with your media files.

Image Editors

Graphic Design Tools

Online Conversion Tools

Creative Commons and Citing

 

GPRC 2021

What is Creative Commons?

In Canada, all creative works, including graphics and music, are protected by copyright law. Copyright determines how a creator’s work can be used, and copyright protection is automatic, even if you don’t see a copyright symbol or notice.

Creative Commons licenses are an easy way for creators to share their work while retaining copyright over it. These licenses may allow for the sharing or modification of original works without the need to contact copyright owners, and are intended to give creators more freedom over how their work is used.

Do I need to attribute a Creative Commons work that is “No Rights Reserved”?

The short answer is yes.

You may see Creative Commons works marked as being in the public domain or stating that they are no rights reserved (CC0). It is still recommended that you credit these creators. If you use these resources in an academic assignment, presenting the work of others as if it is your own may be considered plagiarism. Crediting all works you use, including Creative Commons licensed works, clearly shows which parts of a project are your own original content and what came from other sources.

Where can I find Creative Commons images, music, videos, etc. to use in my projects?

Explore the tabs in the Using Free Media box. Most of the media found on the websites in these lists is available under CC licenses.

How do I attribute/credit Creative Commons works that I use?

A good attribution for a CC-licensed work will include the author, the title of the work, the source, and the license type, along with links. For examples please see CC Wiki’s Best Practices for Attribution.

Best Practices for Citing Sources in a Digital Assignment

Whenever possible include attribution or citation information directly underneath an image. If that’s not possible, you can usually list this information at the end of your work. Always confirm your professor’s citation expectations if you are using media in assignments. If you need to cite using APA or MLA, check out the tab on Citing.

General Recommendations

Here are some guidelines to help you attribute the media you use:

  • Include the creator (omit if not available) and a hyperlink to where you found the image underneath the image.

  • If it looks too cluttered to have this information directly underneath the image, then provide it in one central place with all other image credits and include a title or short description so it is clear which image you are crediting.

  • For images with a Creative Commons license, see the “Attributing Sources” section of the Creative Commons page or the Wiki for best practices in attributing Creative Commons Sources for instructions on providing an image credit.

  • If an image website gives you the attribution note, you may copy and use their recommended attribution. 

Attribution


Attribution 

Unless otherwise stated, the material in this guide is from the Learning Portal created by College Libraries Ontario. Content has been adapted for the GPRC Learning Commons in June 2021. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons BY NC SA 4.0 International License.

All icons on these pages are from The Noun Project. See individual icons for creator attribution. 

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