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SMU Libraries

Copyright Advisory

Find resources on copyright regulations in Singapore and learn more on making legal and ethical use of copyrighted works

Resources in the Public Domain

Works that are in the public domain are not protected by copyright because:

  1. The author dedicated them to public use;
  2. The copyright term has expired without renewal;
  3. The work is of a type that does not qualify for copyright protection.

Works in the public domain may be used without any limitations.

There are several great resources for finding and accessing materials in the public domain:

Resources for Educators

Teacher Tube

Smartcopying - Open Education Resources (OER) and Creative Commons

Images That Can Be Used Legally

Images In The Public Domain and Creative Commons Licensed Content

Pixabay - Over 390,000 free photos, vectors and art illustrations in the public domain

Pexels - Over 10,000 free stock photos. All images available under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. Attribution is not required.

Flickr Advanced Search - Choose “Only search within Creative Commons-Licensed Content.”

Google Advanced Image Search - Use the “Usage Rights” field to limit by license type.

Library of Congress: American Memory - A free “digital record of American history and creativity.”

Library of Congress: Prints & Photographs Online Catalog - Photographs, prints, drawings, posters, and
architectural drawings, and more.

 NGA Images - Public domain artworks from the collections of the National Gallery of Art.

Noun Project - Free clip art images requiring creator credit.

NYPL Digital Gallery - Illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs, and more, from the New York Public Library.

Notable collections: Image Archives, and Smithsonian Images

Wikimedia Commons - Browse or search for freely reusable images.

Wikipedia Public Domain Images - List of public domain image sources on the web.


The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy