Using public domain images

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Using Images

The Internet Offers a Wealth of Free to Use Images, But Pay Attention to Licensing if You Want to Stay Out of Hot Water.

Using Public Domain Images

No permission or license is necessary to use public domain works.

However, using any image on the internet, even public domain carries risks. We recommend the following guidelines when using images from public domain sites:


  • By downloading images from the Internet and reusing them to suit your needs, you assume all risk and responsibility that you may incur from using those images
  • If you’re using stock images with people, be aware that model releases may not have been obtained from those depicted
  • It is wise to avoid using photos that have any identifiable brands or logos present as this can create issues with the brand/company being depicted
  • When using a public domain image, try to find out the original source and verify that the image is free to use whenever possible
  • Though it is not required by law to cite the source of a public domain image, it is polite and users are encouraged to do so.
  • Be aware that some sites have sponsored images or ads that are not in the public domain. Always be wary and don’t use any images with watermarks or copyrights on them.
The images on the following sites are public domain unless otherwise specified:

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