Whether you’re a filmmaker, student, designer, artist or just a history buff, you might be interested in stock footage. Stock footage is generally free of copyright. This means that you are free to do what you want with it. These video clips can be edited, chopped up, stitched together, and manipulated in any way you see fit.
Fortunately, the Internet has made it incredibly easy to track down stock footage, with entire websites dedicated to collecting clips free of copyright. We’ve rounded up some of the best websites that host a plethora of stock footage for you to browse and use, free of charge.
1. The Public Domain Review
The Public Domain Review was founded in 2011 as a not-for-profit dedicated to collecting works of art and literature. If the name didn’t tip you off, the site specializes in curating works that have fallen into the public domain. This means that everything you’ll find on The Public Domain Review is out of copyright. As a result, users are free to do whatever they like with the works found within.
The videos found on The Public Domain Review mostly consist of feature-length films. However, there is also a decent amount of stock footage, experimental shorts and even old TV commercials. In addition, there is even some vintage amateur footage.
Videezy is home to Creative Commons stock footage. Most of the video found on Videezy is B-roll footage like landscapes, backgrounds and aerial shots. Furthermore, all the footage on Videezy is high definition, with a growing selection in 4K. However, be aware that most of the 4K content is only available to download by spending “credits.” At the time of this writing, 1 credit = $19, with other packages available that offer better value for the money.
Most of the videos found on Videezy are free to download. That being said, the use of some clips may be restricted for certain uses (e.g. commercial). So before you decide to use a particular clip for your own project, double-check the license to ensure you don’t run into any legal issues.
Every single video clip hosted on Videvo is 100 percent free. In addition to stock footage, Videvo is also home to motion graphics. Clips are organized into a variety of different categories, from computer-generated abstracts to drone footage. Furthermore, Videvo also prides itself on being an active community, with new videos uploaded every single week.
All of the videos found on Videvo have one of two licenses. The Videvo Standard License allows you to download clips to use in any way you see fit, commercial or otherwise. You don’t have to credit the creator of the clip – you just have to make sure you don’t make the clip available for download anywhere else. Other clips are licensed under Creative Commons 3.0. This allows users to use the clips so long as you credit the author.
Similarly to the Public Domain Review, Pond5 hosts a ton of public domain footage. The clips featured on Pond5 have a historical slant, including lots of footage from old news clips. Furthermore, Pond5 also has a paid section that gives users access to thousands of additional clips, at a price.
In addition to video clips, Pond5 also has a massive library of still images, audio files and even 3D animations. All of the media found on Pond5 is in the public domain, so you are free to use it however you wish.
5. Archive.org’s Stock Footage
The Internet Archive is a non-profit dedicated to preserving digital culture, namely everything and anything on the Internet. The Internet Archive is divided into cataloged subsections to make it easier for folks to find stuff. For those of you hunting for stock footage, you’ll be pleased to know that the Internet Archive has a ton of it.
The Internet Archive’s collection of stock footage is submitted by Internet Archive users. The vast majority of the clips are not meant to be used as standalone clips. Instead, the footage is meant to be used in other videos. The licenses attributed to each clip varies, but they are all under the Creative Commons umbrella.
Do you know of other websites that host free stock footage? Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments!