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-   -   Public Domain Photos (http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=472538)

RubyRedDog2 06-04-2013 08:39 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Thank you Mary!! Most US government websites such as Fish and Wildlife and NASA (KSC in particular with wildlife) have public domain. A few on these sites were taken by professionals and not with gov $$ so be careful. In fact I will be using a KSC photo this weekend at the WDE.

http://mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/index.cfm - opt image and type in key word alligator, endangered, eagle etc. KSC is part of a wildlife sanctuary and the animals are protected.


Alison1234 07-23-2014 01:19 AM

Re: Public Domain Photos
I don't know if this thread is still active (posts seem to be a couple years old??) but I am wondering if anyone knows if we are allowed to paint an animal (for example) where we used a few different reference photos and it is our own work. I thought that was fine as long as we didn't copy just one photo.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much!


Charlie's Mum 07-27-2014 01:33 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Quite honestly, if a single ref. cannot be identified, I can't see that's a problem! :)
If you published the painting, you may have to say it's a composite from a number of photos.

hungry4art 07-02-2015 03:38 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Here is a link to 17 websites with great public domain free

Admin note: broken link removed as website is no longer operating.

Yorky 07-02-2015 03:51 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Thanks for a fantastic link.


Mike L 07-10-2015 02:01 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
I'm piping in, a bit late perhaps, because I've been a victim of copyright infringement - twice. Oh, heavens, not paintings, but once of a digital design for apparel decoration and once of vinyl sticker design. It ain't fun, folks, so please, if you don't want to believe me, at least don't believe anyone else here when they say it is OK to steal an image online for any purpose.

Public domain, now, is almost meaningless - a work is copyright protected when it is created. No filing is necessary and it's been that way since 1976. Neither does an image or any other work have to have a statement of copyright to fall under the jurisdiction of US copyright law which now reflects most other nations' copyright laws.

There are exceptions, but ASK before just taking. Some images that are truly in the public domain, as far as copyrights are concerned, are trademarks. That's a lot deeper and hotter skillet than a simple, "oops I goofed" copyright infringement charge.

If you didn't create it or have written certification it is in the public domain with no other restrictions (such as trademarks), get permission. If you can't get permission, don't use it. Writing the source on a canvas or even a piece of paper does not give anyone the right to steal; in fact, if you get caught you are more likely to be subject to fines well above any actual damages because judges and juries are more likely to believe that you infringed knowingly.

When you take something you know isn't your's, it's theft - plain and simple.

I am not an attorney nor do I portray one on television or on WC. Seek advice from a licensed attorney for answers to legal questions. Especially if you think it's in the public domain.


Medeea 11-12-2015 03:44 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Wow,you guys are amazing1Thank you so much.

oldrockchick 11-13-2015 11:46 AM

Re: Public Domain Photos
When I upload an image to RIL for Wet Canvassers to use, permission is implied by the action of the uploading.
I have however started to put the copyright symbol an my name on my photos as i post them on other platforms an also because friends on Wet Canvas using them have sometimes message me to ask my name so they can credit me rather than using 'oldrockchick'.
I am happy to add my photos, often ones I most likely will not be using myself, into the RIL for my fellow forum users, but outside of Wet Canvas anyone who wishes to use should contact me for permission.
I always like to see what people have done with my refs so appreciate it when I am shown the work produced.

fjfe 02-02-2016 05:49 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
This is very useful info, glad I visited this forum today.


Originally Posted by hungry4art
Here is a link to 17 websites with great public domain free
photos: www.stumbleupon.com/su/1QuwuW

PamSav 05-03-2017 12:05 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Hi, I'd like to add another website that has free images for use both for personal use and commercial:


If you use an image from here you can give a voluntary donation to the person who uploaded it if you wish, which is nice if you intend to use their image for commercial purposes.

Elliria 11-23-2018 10:45 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos
Unsplash: https://unsplash.com/

Free for use for commercial and noncommercial purposes.

Unsplash license: https://unsplash.com/license


renzo98112 02-21-2019 09:29 PM

Re: Public Domain Photos: Alaska Images
I believe the link attached does not work.

Yorky 02-22-2019 02:03 AM

Re: Public Domain Photos
The above links work for me.


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