Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

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introstock   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free PhotographsStock photography is all over the place on the Web. If you’re looking for an image of just about anything, you’re bound to find that professional, high-quality photo from various online distributors and agencies, like Getty Images, Corbis, iStockphoto, or Shutterstock.

However, the downside is that all those photos are going to cost you. It’s important to understand the term “royalty-free” (RF) for those websites. RF images are not in the public domain, nor are they free to use without purchasing a license.

Luckily, there are plenty of websites for copyright free images that won’t require you to dig into your pockets.  Here’s 5 of them.

Freerange

Once you register for a free membership at Freerange, thousands of high-resolution stock photos will be at your fingertips at no cost. All of the website’s images can be used for personal or commercial projects.

freerange   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

For photographers, Freerange also offers Google AdSense revenue sharing when you contribute. Check out this list for more of the top websites to sell your stock photos.

Stockvault

With over 13,000 free copyright free photos, Stockvault connects designers and photographers. The photo sharing website offers all of its images for absolutely free personal or non-commercial use.

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stockvault   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

Check out more about Stockvault in MakeUseOf’s Directory.

FreeDigitalPhotos

FreeDigitalPhotos neatly organizes its thousands of photos into easy-to-find categories and sub-categories. Every image is available for free download but if you want a larger version or a high-resolution version, they’re priced at $5 and $10, respectively.

free   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

stock.xchng

SXC.hu has over 400,000 photos to choose from by more than 30,000 photographers. The website maintains that all images are free, but you must abide by its image license agreement.

stock   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

Some of the site’s artists may also need to be notified about using some copyright free images, and in most cases, you’ll need to give credit to them.

Flickr

If you still haven’t found what you’re looking for, you may want to actually try Flickr. The popular image hosting website has millions of images from its users who have offered their work under a Creative Commons (CC) License. All you have to do is simply pay close attention to the type of licenses each image falls under to use it appropriately.

flickr   Top 5 Free Websites for Quality Copyright Free Photographs

Keep in mind that Flickr photos offered under the CC Attribution License requires you to give credit to the photographer.

Want more? MakeUseOf’s Directory of Apps has got details on MorgueFile, yet another website database for free high-resolution digital stock photos. If you’re still having trouble looking, try out PicFindr, a stock photography search engine.

If you know of any other good sites for copyright free images, let us know in the comments.

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22 Comments - Write a Comment

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Patrick Braga

EveryStockPhoto.com is also a great free resource for stock photos.

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Tristan Bethe

You might want to check out imageafter.com as well. Free for use in commercial projects

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Lee

Nice sharing. Great post. You can share your article at: ArticlePinger.com to gain more views.

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Tim Lenahan

How ’bouts Morguefile.com?

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Keith Kmett

I second Morguefile.com for great high-res shots!

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Tim Lenahan

OOPs, seems Morguefile’s down! “morgueFile is experiencing technical difficulties, we are working on the problem.” – straight from the site!

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Andy Commons

I enjoy http://www.fotolia.com. Not free, but $1 – $3 for photos I can legally use in my websites.

Aristarkhos

I agree with Andy. Fotolia suits those who are willing to pay a very nominal amount for their images. Legal and economical. The image gallery is very good too.

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Tim Lenahan

Is Morguefile.com down for the count?

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UPrinting

Cool! Thanks for sharing these sites. After all, no one wants to be accused of being a photo thief… if there’s such thing!
Have you heard of http://www.sxc.hu?

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Yvette Francino

Great list! I’ve been looking for this! Thanks!

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Online Cash

Its a great collection of lovely photographs available online. I always look for some useful photos for my website, now you made my task easier by providing these websites.

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Saw Htoo

For free photos, check out

http://www.photovaco.com

All photos are high resolution and absolutely free to use for both personal and commercial projects.

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G.A.L.E.S.L.

I create online exercises for use through an LMS, for a private university that charges tuition. So I appreciate sites with photos that allow commercial use, and thanks for these links.

Some comments upon further investigation of these sites.

Freerange – NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I’m pretty sure I can use their stock. From their license page:

License Summary: You can do nearly anything with the images, commercial or not. Just don’t redistribute them – this means don’t host the images or repackage them, just post a link and let others download them, just as you did.

{i.e. you can’t make your own clone of freerange, imo}

Stockvault – NOT copyright-free actually, CC BY-NC-SA license. Poison for my situation: no commercial use (e.g. private university that charges tuition), viral Share Alike clause.

Freedigitalphotos – NOT copyright-free actually, but a fairly permissive license, so I can use their stock if I provide a credit and hyperlink to their website.

Stock.xchng – NOT copyright-free actually, but with somewhat permissive licenses. I’ve used their stuff before, thinking all I had to do was credit Stock.xchng. But upon further research it seems a little more complicated than that. First, photos are covered by a variety of restrictions; most of them are “Standard restrictions”, which are the ones I used. But some have more restrictions: be careful.
Secondly, the usage summary seems to indicate I have to credit each individual artist (not the site) AND notify them too. That would a *real* pain for me.

Flickr CC content – NOT copyright-free actually, but with a variety of Creative Commons licenses. Of the 5 licenses there, the ony one I’m sure I can use is the CC Attribution License (BY). And that requires me to credit each individual artist per their requirements. A pain.

In short, none of these sites are offering truly copyright-free photos (i.e. public domain). But they all offer copyrighted photos with a license allowing some re-use if you comply with certain conditions.
For me, the “free-est” is Freerange (commercial use, no crediting required) and I think I’ll be using it in future.
Next comes Freedigitalphoto, which requires a credit & link just to the site.
Flickr & stock.xchng offer some possibilities but frankly the requirement to credit each individual artist (or even notify them!) means I won’t bother.
And Stockvault is out of the question for me: not only no commerical use, but also the viral “Share Alike” factor that means the exercises I make that include such a photo also become CC BY-NC-SA. My employers would not be happy with that!

Please note I’m not an expert, so my understanding may be wrong. And please note that I have specific needs; yours may differ, so a license that’s bad for me might be good for you.

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G.A.L.E.S.L.

(BTW the above and below comments are just about reuse permission, I haven’t yet had time to check the quality and variety of the photos themselves)

Some of the sites mentioned in the comments:

Morguefile – NOT copyright-free actually, but a very permissive license, so I’m pretty sure I can use their stock. Allows commercial use, no crediting required. Looks like I might be using Freerange and Morguefile.

Photovaco – minimal info on their site, basically just this from their front page:

We provide free stock photos with high resolution for both personal and commercial projects. You can use our free photos in websites, video, TV production, forum, blogs, school projects and print medias including newspapers, magazine, books, CD covers. OK, let’s say, you can download, edit and use all photos anywhere and anyhow you like except for abuse.

Fotolia – as original poster said, you have to pay. Yes, the prices are probably reasonable for many people, but I would have to pay out of my own pocket, which rules it out for me.

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AllOurStock

Plug here, but I really think you’ll like this one. It’s a completely 100% free stock photo, design and vector website.

Our site, allourstock.com is not spammy, it’s built around a nice, easy-to-use functional layout with easy drag-and-drop interface, and has a lot more planned for the future. Currently we have about 500 images but we have a database of over 7000 yet to be added and growing everyday. I personally shoot photos myself and create custom designs as well. All are available for person OR commercial use, most of which do not require attribution.

check us out on twitter as well, http://www.twitter.com/AllOurStock

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Sacha

Number 6:
other free quality photo on niffylux
http://www.niffylux.com

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dissertation

Excellent web site the great work don keep it up

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Michael Garmahis

My version of Top 10 Free Stock Photos Sites

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?ooper

Free photostocks – it’s good. But they definitely lose paid. Shutterstock istokphoto and – apart from the competition. However, all this is expensive. But there is one site that helps all who wish to download at a substantial discount from pay photostocks. This site is called shopdiz.biz. Several times used the services of the site – everything honestly.However, registration on this site – only for an invite. Here are three free invitation:

946fdb8b7a5ee846cf94ec455b4092ac45de0ae7
d458147465c935cfcd423abf95630d722c53db05
706326f64ca49aeca3ecd024eded80b7dbb7f98c

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?ooper

Invitations to quickly understand. Here are the most recent:

7646012a4f1eb853f5f6699b0b42f365e598fb00
d7d9a53db659e7d8ffe0c4b27d100a1426d84c6d

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?ooper

Here are the most recent:

d92240e2ef4fe7fe18c8b088639001393eb02082
e236913c355cc3d5b772197f4e5b9630b53cb204
0befca400b56b17c975369b60e39c95981f5e517

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