Wikipedia talk:Public domain image resources

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Images from Google books[edit]

What is the policy regarding extracting images from a PDF downloaded from Google Books (say) of a public-domain book? (Ignoring the fact that they will be of poor quality.) On the one hand, it seems similar to the Bridgeman Art Library v. Corel Corp. mentioned on this page: that the book and all its reproductions should be public-domain. On the other hand, the files have the following notice on the first page:

Usage guidelines
[...] Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. We also ask that you:

  • Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.


  • Maintain attribution The Google “watermark” you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it.

To what extent, if any, are such "guidelines" binding? Shreevatsa (talk) 07:51, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Probably not very. See [[1]] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Even Google agrees: [2]

We have gotten this question in the past. The front matter of our PDF books is not a EULA [end user license agreement]. We make some requests, but we are not trying to legally bind users to those requests. We’ve spent (and will continue to spend) a lot of time and money on Book Search, and we hope users will respect that effort and not use these files in ways that make it harder for us to justify that expense (for example, by setting up the ACME Public Domain PDF Download service that charges users a buck a book and includes malware in the download). Rather than using the front matter to convey legal restrictions, we are attempting to use it to convey what we hope to be the proper netiquette for the use of these files.

With at least some of the public domain books on the Google Books project, it appears that the book can be viewed in a page-by-page manner, among other viewing modes, without the need to download a PDF version. In such a case, it would presumably be permissible (perhaps by using the "Clip" functionality to select a portion of a page) to extract individual illustrations for reuse. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elegie (talkcontribs) 05:08, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Possible vandalism?[edit]

In the General Collections section:

Google images hosts a large repository of LIFE images, Time claims blanket copyright to everything but this is simply bullshit.

The last part certainly doesn't belong. I'll change it. --Crackthewhip775 (talk) 07:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

How do you know[edit]

How do you know if it's okay to use an image. There are many articles I would like to add images to and it's so easy to find a multitude of very good images; presumably some must be okay to use? How do you find out. Daniel Christensen (talk) 19:31, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

In general if there is no statement that you can use an image you may not. Copyrights can apply even when there is no copyright notice . --BozMo talk 15:27, 9 March 2009 (UTC)
Back on February 27 I answered this question and more for you in some detail. Unless an image specifically says it is in the public domain or has some other free licence, then you MUST assume it is copyright and you can't use it here. I would suggest that you stop forum shopping for the reply you want to hear, i.e., that you can use copyright images. The answer is that you can't. ww2censor (talk) 16:05, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

Lantern slide collection[edit]

Here's an extensive collection of what would seem to be out-of-copyright lantern slides. Andy Mabbett (User:Pigsonthewing); Andy's talk; Andy's edits 22:35, 3 September 2009 (UTC)[edit]

How is this website a resource for PD images? The website seems to be only about selling its services; i don't see any 'archive' or anything like that. Maybe this link ought to be removed?--Breandán MacAmhlaidh (talk) 09:10, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done: Removed. ww2censor (talk) 13:24, 29 September 2009 (UTC)


It seems that, according to the terms of use of the websites 4FreePhotos and 4 Free Textures — here is an excerpt:

You are NOT, under any circumstance, allowed to copy the content of this website with any application or reuse the images, code, and content for creating a similar website, selling, renting, or any other type of activity similar to the one our website is running, … If you upload this image on a diffrent website it is mandatory to link to image page.


anyone who downloads anything from them is prohibited from uploading it to Wikimedia Commons.

--AVRS (talk) 21:42, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

How to automatically transfer fee images from wikipedia into commons?[edit]

Like this one? Of course, I can download/upload it, with credits, but I guess a good idea would be to preserve file history, right? Lotygolas Ozols (talk) 19:33, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

found it myself: Wikipedia:Moving files to the Commons. Lotygolas Ozols (talk) 20:32, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Art Renewal Needs to be Removed[edit]

The Art Renewal Project is listed under art as a source of copyright free material. There are two things wrong with this. First, the page it links to no longer exists. The second, and much more important, is that the Art Renewal Project is not a collection of classical art, is is a site that represents Classical Art Ateliers, training students in the style of the old masters, and all the art represented on the website is done by contemporary artists. I represent one such school. They are most certainly not copyright free. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Stingwriter (talkcontribs) 23:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

USCITES[edit] is listed but the site asks for authorisation, thus:

 A username and password are being requested by The site says: "hugo".

Dbagnall (talk) 12:48, 19 September 2011 (UTC)


Does anyone know whether all the images in the Open-i database are public domain? In particular, this image says "PHOTO COURTESY OF PAUL FETTERS FOR HOWARD HUGHES MEDICAL INSTITUTE". Does that limit its use in any way? RockMagnetist (talk) 19:58, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

Since I posted this question the site has gone under maintenance. RockMagnetist (talk) 21:22, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

It's back again. RockMagnetist (talk) 05:13, 19 April 2013 (UTC)


Just removed a bunch of dead weight. Dead links were obvious. Sites where it said public domain but the terms say something else were obvious. Where I think it still needs more work is on the sites which keep getting added which are clearly just set up for ad revenue: a handful of images in a little frame dwarfed by ads on all sides, ads that look like more photos linking to paid stock photo sites, people's vacation galleries... In other words this page has turned into a web directory. Please use the talk page before adding back anything I removed. Much more work to be done to this resource... --Rhododendrites (talk) 04:44, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

inclusion criteria[edit]

In the time I've watched this page the majority of edits seem to be either adding or removing sites with commercial content, very little content, ambiguous licensing, rampant advertising, membership fees, etc. What is the inclusion criteria? Can I start a Tumblr, upload a picture I took, declare it public domain, and link to it here? --— Rhododendrites talk |  21:05, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

Can we replace this with a link to the Wikimedia Commons page?[edit]

Why is this page here, if it is just a copy of the meta page? Why should anyone ever have to make the same changes to two different pages? Wouldn't it be better to just provide a link or a (soft) redirect? I'd also note that it's very confusing: the meta page has a notice that it is "kept for historical interest", which implies to me that I shouldn't edit it.

Actually, can we replace both this and the meta page with soft redirects to Commons:Free_media_resources/Photography? Klortho (talk) 05:51, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

  • Support - Good call. I had not seen either of those other two. Meta doesn't make sense just based on the scope of that project. There's something to be said for each language Wikipedia having its own list for accessibility reasons, but it keeps with the spirit of the Commons to combine them in that central location. Commons:Free media resources is showing some signs of neglect, for sure. I'd be willing to help go through them and merge. I did that to some extent here, where there's a persistent problem of people adding sites that (a) have a few pictures declared public domain along with much larger databases of subscription-only images; (b) someone's own images of indiscriminate vacation photos and such; (c) spam sites on some blog, with a few images declared public domain (which may or may not be), surrounded by ads. Centralizing it may help to get more eyes on it, too. --— Rhododendrites talk |  14:34, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

What is the status of paintings reproduced at BBC Your Paintings?[edit]

The website at aims to show the entire UK national collection of oil paintings. A project is in progress to tag all paintings on the site. Can museums and other contributors claim copyright on images reproduced here? If not, at least in the case of older paintings it would make a useful resource at Wikipedia:Public_domain_image_resources#Art, especially if some caveat was included in the link explaining what is and is not covered by copyright.Waugh Bacon (talk) 04:55, 1 April 2014 (UTC)

Commons discussion about what to do with this page and its counterparts at Commons and Meta[edit]

Just a heads up that I've started a thread at the Wikimedia Commons Village Pump which concerns this page: commons:Commons:Village pump#cleaning up, creating link inclusion criteria, and consolidating Free Media Resources. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:33, 19 June 2015 (UTC)


i think this article and this article

should mergeJonnymoon96 (talk) 21:35, 9 July 2015 (UTC)

Embedded links[edit]

Looking at this page, much of it seems to be a list of external links embedded into the page. My understanding is that this is not something generally considered acceptable for articles per WP:CS#Avoid embedded links or WP:EL. I am just curious as if this of thing is considered OK for pages in the "Wikipedia" namespace. I'm not proposing a massive removal of links. Just curious. Thanks in advance. -- Marchjuly (talk) 01:28, 1 April 2016 (UTC)

Free Image Search Tool?[edit]

Does the Free Image Search Tool still exist? I'm getting a 502 Bad Gateway message when I follow the link:

  • FIST – Free Image Search Tool

Thanks for considering my question! Jscarboro (talk) 16:52, 15 March 2017 (UTC)