Creative commons have now extended their license system to include a new significantly more liberal license, one that is similar to placing the image in the public domain. To summarize:
Standard Image (e.g. a commercial stock agency on in a photographer portfolio) = All Rights Reserved, Licensed Use
Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike etc = Some Rights Reserved, Free to use with conditions
CC Zero (listed below) and Public Domain = No Rights Reserved (by the photographer!)
CC0 clearly offers the most flexibility to the image user, often being dubbed as "do as you like" license. The only disadvantage is that there are almost 100 million Creative Commons Attribution licensed images available, but the range of CC0 images is somewhat smaller. There are quite a few websites available with CC0 images, but a quick search reveals a slim range of subjects. However there are some good 'popular' images that will look fantastic on a social media campaign etc. you'll also tend to see the same images copied around on different websites. By their nature they can be no such thing as an exclusive CC0 image, they can all be freely shared and redistributed, so we see a lot of 'cross pollination'
After spending hours reviewing the websites for this guide, one striking conclusion I have is that most of the sites look great! but many of them have so very few images, most have less than 200, the ones that have more simply copy the same images that other sites have.
We've reviewed CCZero websites until it felt like we couldn't look at another full width photo slider again: here's what we found....
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Approx size of Collection
(v) = Varies ?=Approx/Guesstimate, Always confirm the license information before you use any image you find on a site listed here.
|vintage and retro modern with a nice mix of useful subjects and ideas as well as landscapes and art|
|collection by various authors, some nice images, but limited collection and no search|
|some nice photos here, no search, but an enjoyable place to browse, not that much too choose from|
|download packs of photos, 10 to choose from when we visited, CC0 license, "pay what you like" including '$0'.|
|nice CC0 curation from various photographers in this managed collection|
|CC0 licensed image collection, features an all important search! approx 30 images a month since June 2014|
|very nice images - re how useful: see above, you'll want to slit your own wrists after 5 minutes searching|
|stagnant - computers in trendy workspaces, nothing more, no search (tumblr base site)|
|trendy modern template but usability that someone should call the gui police! also featured of dirty little trick advertisements that pop over images just before you click for a larger view.|
|nice fresh wallpapery/moody images, trendy square crops, limited category range.|
|limited collection size, 170 images when we visited, of little use.|
|it's just the same old CC0 images uploads without much value added.|
|another uninspired tumblr feed.|
|sounds and looks nice, but the reality is a bit disappointing.|
|quite a nice collection, that does not appear to have been simply copied from unsplash and jay mantri. Yes it has a working search and categories! how novel for a photo site to have those... whodathunkit,|
|hard to browse as a endless loading blog, but categories and search do work.|
|seems to be little more than a tumblr blog with links to peoples work on flickr.|
|either the search is not working or there as so few photos there's little to be found.|
|another tumblr feed with less than 200 travel stock images|
|wow 22 images, nothing new since Sept. 2014. look somewhere else.|
|very similar to travelcoffee book but oriental travel images, and not many of them, tumblr again|
|lots of images and good search, registration to download high res image|
|nicely curated public domain images.?|
|beautiful collection of high quality stock images from photographer Jonas Nilsson Lee, not many images|
|searches some CC0 sites, but seems to have limited coverage, does a nice job of what it does|
|tumblr site with 30 or so nature photos upload each month, nothing special.|
|different collection of images, in categories, registration needed to download.|
|dreadfully limited range of images scraped from other PD and CC0 Sites|
|nice modern collection, no search but there are categories, just over 200 images, some of the download links were broken when we visited.|
Tumblr Site Tips:
Lots of CC0 artists have chosen to host their images on tumblr. The tumblr archive feature allows you to avoid whatever excuse for navigation some of these sites have and view images directly by upload date as thumbnails, just change the url to /archive to see a simple grid view of images and when they were uploaded.
Search Several CC0 sites at once:
More Free Image Sites:
Creative Commons site directory (free use images with an attribution, simplified licenses)
Something Wrong? Missing a Site / Add Listing
Think we have missed a site from the list? then let us know, but be sure that it's not already listed in our PD image sites or Creative Commons free image sites directories.
Free Resource Book listing the best of Free and Paid Stock Photo Libraries