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Copyright: Find Resources You May Legally Use

Review of the copyright rules for teachers, students and researchers

Where Can I Find Resources I May Legally Use?

On this page, you will find links and tips to find resources that you may legally use in connection with teaching activities and as a private individual. You will find links to databases that legally collect material from artists who have made their works free to use or assigned their works a Creative Commons licence.

Access to Works via Openverse

In Openverse, you can search for works that have been assigned a Creative Commons licence. You can find music, images, texts etc. Here you search across several databases, and you can target your search to for example works that you are allowed to modify etc.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons is a collection of over 83 million freely usable media files (images, sounds, videos) to which anyone can contribute.


Europeana is a portal with links to many digital works. You can find images, text, sound, video, museum pieces and documents from European cultural and research institutions. You have access to millions of digitalized materials from all over Europe. Of Danish institutions, the Royal Danish Library, the Danish Film Institute and the Danish Broadcasting Corporation have contributed to the collection. When searching the database, you can refine your search results on the right hand side under “Can I Use This?”. Each work will have a visible Creative Commons license if it has been assigned one.


Institutions with Material You May Legally Use

Images You May Legally Use

Colourbox (Access for CBS staff and CBS students)

Colourbox is an image database with over 24 million images, illustrations, and videos.

Access for CBS staff and students:
CBS Library has taken an educational licence that allows CBS staff and students to download up to 30 pictures per user per month for educational use. To download images, you need to create an account with Colourbox. Use the license keys on and CBSshare. Via this link, you can find more information on how to register as a user of Colourbox. You can also find a more detailed description of the conditions under which you may use material from Colourbox.

Unsplash – Photos for everyone
Access to over 2 million images. Unsplash is a platform powered by a community that has gifted hundreds of thousands of their own photos.
It is free to sign up.

Unsplash licence:

•    All photos can be downloaded and used for free
•    Commercial and non-commercial purposes
•    No permission needed (though attribution is appreciated!)

What is not permitted:

•    Photos cannot be sold without significant modification.
•    Compiling photos from Unsplash to replicate a similar or competing service.

Pixabay serves as a repository for a ton of quality photos, released under Creative Commons CC0 into the public domain. The site is clean and intuitive, making it easy to navigate your way through the 780K+ free photos, vectors, and illustrations.
The Pixabay site has a clear user interface through which it is easy to navigate and find relevant images. In addition to photos, Pixabay also has some graphics and illustrations.
Pixabay's selection of over 780,000 images is available under Creative Commons CC0, which means you can copy, make changes and share all images without crediting the source or asking for permission.

Flickr is a photo-sharing website, where private users can upload digital photographs. It serves as both an online photo album and a community. There are currently more than 4 billion images uploaded to Flickr. The images on Flickr are mostly licensed through a Creative Commons license. There can be variations as to exactly which Creative Commons licence the photographs have been licensed with, but each image has information attached informing you, as the licensee, what you can and cannot do with the image.

Google Images
This search engine allows you to search through millions of images. Do a search, then click on "Tools" beneath the search box. Then click on "Usage Rights" and select "Creative Commons licences" to see only images that have been assigned a Creative Commons licence.

Graphics You May Legally Use

Here you can find vector graphics, images, icons and PSD files. Freepik offers lots of good graphics created or selected by the site's own graphic artists. The materials can be used for both private, public and commercial purposes. 

Vecteezy makes it easy to search for thousands of graphics created by graphic designers from around the world. Most of the files are free to download and, depending on the licence, are free to use in your projects.

Stockio consists of images, vector graphics, icons, fonts and videos, in good quality, for personal or commercial use. Stockio also allows you to create an account to keep track of your downloads via a portfolio.

You can find more than 62,000 backgrounds and vector graphics/images on this site. They are free to use, and you can also find illustrations, clip-art and wallpapers.

This website contains graphics that are not bound by copyright. All artists have made their works free to use in terms of copyright, so you may use them as you please.

Videos You May Legally Use

Videos on YouTube may be assigned a Creative Commons licence.
Do a search in YouTube, then click on the ‘Filters’ option on the results page. Under ‘Features’, select ‘Creative Commons’. Now all the videos in the search will be licensed under Creative Commons. Please note that this will return all Creative Commons licensed videos, so you will need to be sure to check out the particular licence and abide by its conditions. 

In Vimeo you can search for videos with a Creative Commons licence. Do a search in Vimeo and then select which Creative Commons licence the search results should be assigned under "License" which you will find under "Refine by" on the left-hand side of the results list.

Music You May Legally Use

CCMixter contains music. For each track, you can see which Creative Commons licence the piece of music has been assigned.

In SoundCloud you can search for music. It will be indicated whether a piece of music has been published under a Creative Commons licence.

Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive (established by WDMU) is one of the most content-rich online sites for downloading background music and sounds of all types and genres. All MP3 tracks are cleared in advance and can be used for many different purposes that would normally be restricted by copyright.
FMA offers more than 1,500 public tracks with licence for commercial use, as well as thousands of tracks under Creative Commons licences, giving users an abundance of opportunities.

SoundEffects is actually more a site for sounds, but there is also a great deal of background music to be found here. The rights are owned by the team of sound engineers that have produced them, but users may freely use the content. Under License agreement, you can read what you can and cannot do according to copyright.

This site specialises in electronic music, but you can also find rock, jazz and classical music. You can filter your search according to which type of Creative Commons-licensed work you require. It is also possible to filter by genre, tag, label, artist or title.

Sounds You May Legally Use

This site has approximately 2000 free sounds with Creative Commons licences. If you want to use a sound for commercial purposes, you can click on Royalty free sounds. This sound site is one of the few where you don't have to create an account to get access to download the sounds.

Freesound is a collaborative database consisting of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Here you can browse, download and share sounds.

This site has a few hundred free sounds in good quality (16-bit stereo 44.1 or 48 kHz.) They can be downloaded free of charge and without the use of an account or login.

The sounds on 99Sound are produced by sound designers and are therefore very good quality. The collection is quite large.

Audio Micro
Here you can find around 2000 free sound effects in good quality. It is also possible to pay for access to more effects on the site. You need to create a user to download an original sound.

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