Pond5: The Public Domain Project, Free

January 21, 2015

By Beckett Mufson and Pond5.com

Download thousands of historic media files for your creative projects.
Completely free & made available by Pond5.


From the outset, Pond5 has had one clear mission: to empower and inspire the world’s media makers by connecting them with the tools, resources, and content they need to create.

In line with this vision, today we’re extremely proud to launch the Pond5 Public Domain Project, a comprehensive and ever-expanding collection of copyright-free multimedia content that’s accessible for free search, free download and free use.

What’s Public Domain?

pub·lic do·main (noun)
The state of belonging or being available to the public as a whole, and therefore not subject to copyright.


Mix. Remix. Share.

Whether you’re a filmmaker, musician, designer, student, or just a history buff, the Pond5 Public Domain Project is making copyright-free media available for you. You’ve got stories, and we’d love to help you tell them.

A World of Possibility

Utilize the history of man as told through cameras, microphones, and more — expertly prepared and optimized for the media makers of today.

Alongside the freshly accessible materials, Pond5 produced a handy explanation of the public domain to help artists ensure their ideas fall within the legal realm of each different kind of public domain. While using the free picture of President Obama is fine for an editorial about presidential recreation, for example, it would not be legal to turn it into an advertisment for billiards tables.

One of the coolest things about this project is that, as with nearly any free resource, people will almost certainly find ways to use the Public Domain Project in ways we can’t predict. We’d love to see projects like a supercut of vintage space footage, a film remix in the style of Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily?, or even a modern take on the nuclear bomb montage from the end of Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove. All the clips are embeddable and many are byte-sized, so we may even see them sprout up as new memes and reaction GIFs, and hopefully many more projects we haven’t thought of yet.

Below, check out some royalty-free images, courtesy of the Public Domain Project:

President Barack Obama whistles along to the music as he shoots pool with Col, via

A Trip To The Moon (1902), Georges Méliès, Screencap via

Featured works using Pond5 Public Domain

We gave a few of our favorite artists a sneak peek at Pond5 Public Domain content. Here’s what happened…

Browse and start downloading from amongst ten’s of thousands of Public Domain content including images, video, audio and even 3D models.  Click here to browse.

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