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Pixabay GmbH
Type of site
Stock photography, stock footage, stock vector graphics, stock music
Available in26 languages
OwnerCanva, Hans Braxmeier, Simon Steinberger
Created by
  • Hans Braxmeier,
  • Simon Steinberger
Launched24 November 2010; 13 years ago (2010-11-24)

Pixabay.com is a free stock photography and royalty-free stock media website. It is used for sharing photos, illustrations, vector graphics, film footage, music and sound effects, exclusively under the custom Pixabay license, which generally allows the free use of the material with some restrictions.[1][2][3]

The overall quality of the photos on the service has been described as "mediocre for the most part"[4] and "variable", but covering a "wide range of subjects."[5]


The site was founded in November 2010 in Ulm, Germany, by Hans Braxmeier and Simon Steinberger.[6]

Prior to 9th January 2019, Pixabay images were released under the CC0 declaration, which deeds content into the public domain. On that day, it imposed a custom, more restrictive license on all of its content,[7] and changed its license to the "Pixabay License", which prohibits the sale of unaltered copies of the licensed works, or distribution as stock images or wallpapers.[8] As the terms of CC0 explicitly indicate that the surrender into the public domain is "irrevocable" once completed,[9] images that had already been released under CC0 prior to the change in license remain available through various mirrors distributing under the original CC0 declaration.

In May 2019, Pixabay, along with Pexels, was acquired by the Australian design and publishing platform Canva.[10]

On April 17th, 2023, significant changes to Pixabay’s terms of service came into effect. This included the modification of the “Pixabay License” to the “Content License”, as well as the reinstatement of the CC0 license, for content uploaded to Pixabay prior to January 9th, 2019.[11]


  1. ^ "Pixabay home page". Pixabay.com. Archived from the original on 2019-01-30. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  2. ^ "Terms of Service". 2019-01-08. Archived from the original on 2019-01-08. Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  3. ^ "Pixabay - Terms of Service". Retrieved 2020-11-14.
  4. ^ "Shooting down the idea of free stock photos". The Straits Times. 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ "The best free stock videos 2020: high quality free videos for all your projects". TechRadar. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  6. ^ ""Pixabay ist die größte Bilddatenbank" – Hans Braxmeier im Interview | Investorszene". Investorszene (in German). 16 October 2014. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Pixabay License Change – No Longer a CC0 License | 24zero". 24zero. September 7, 2019. Retrieved December 27, 2022.
  8. ^ "Pixabay Images are not allowed". Theme Review Team. WordPress.org. 2019-01-13. Retrieved 2019-10-29.
  9. ^ CC0 1.0 Universal, section 2
  10. ^ "Australia's design unicorn, Canva, picks up two free image-sharing services, and launches new photo product". TechCrunch. 17 May 2019. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Pixabay – New "Content License", CC0 is back, plus AI content allowed". 24zero. 2023-09-21. Retrieved 2023-10-05.

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