Below are some of the websites I highlighted:
- Creative Commons: Open Clip Art Library
- Free Digital Photos
- Microsoft Clip Art
Photoshop Tutorials Blog: Free Stock Photos (Lists many stock photo sites, including the popular Stock.xchng and Morguefile sites.)
- Wikimedia Commons
Google's Advanced Image Search allows individuals to look for images with varying degrees of copyright restrictions. For example, searches can be limited to images "labeled for reuse," "labeled for commercial reuse," "labeled for reuse with modification," and "labeled for reuse with commercial modification." Naturally, the default to all image searches is the all-inclusive "not filtered by license."
Information-literate individuals understand the legal and ethical issues surrounding information. Google also knows about these sticky concerns. On their Features: Usage Rights page they have included the following information:
Anyone can browse the Web, but usage rights come into play if you're looking for content that you can take and use above and beyond fair use. Site owners can use licenses to indicate if and how content on their sites can be reused.
When looking at photos, keep your eyes open for the licensing information. On the sites listed above, these notices generally appear in a visible spot near the photo.
Cognizance and ability to correctly (read legally here) apply copyright and license information relate to the last information-literacy competency standard, espoused by the Association of College and Research Librarians (ACRL). Namely:
Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally.
Best wishes as you search for free photos, images, clip art, and other files.