Freely Usable Media

Not everyone can do everything.

Like me, you might be able to shoot and edit video but not be so good with drawing completely lack any musical skills. And the idea of this contest is to gather content that can not only be used as is but be reused in something larger. So we might just want your video, or your art, or your music. That can present a problem for someone wanting to show off what they can do without having what they cannot do drag it down when it comes to judging (or voting).

So how can you overcome this? Especially if you haven’t got the friends with the missing talents to draw upon?

The answer is: Royalty Free Media.
What’s that? It can be visuals or music or effects that others have created to share with the world. Essentially for free. Ok, there are usually strings attached … but the monetary aspect is not always part of it as long as you follow the rules. Their rules.
Why would they do that? There are many reasons but the most likely one is to get their name out there in the world at large. Credibility comes from exposure and wide usage. And with credibility comes fame and fortune. (or so we all hope).

So when you’re searching for things you can use the most likely rules you will find have to do with giving credit where credit is due. If you use their stuff they will want you to give them credit by stating who made it and where you got it from – this is what’s called attribution. And that’s why all that stuff at the end of videos and films is the ‘credits’.

Here are some links to get you started. We’ll be adding more over time.

You can find a lot of things using the search engines. Use these terms in Google, Yahoo, Bing or whichever engine you use to find lots of hits leading to many, many open source usable resources.
‘royalty free’, ‘podsafe music’, ‘creative commons’ … after a few searches you’ll get the idea. And don’t forget to look for the alternative search terms as well – you aren’t the first ones looking down these paths and you can benefit from earlier searchers’ efforts.

One thing to keep in mind: No matter how you find it or on which website it is extremely important to find out what rules the particular creator has imposed on the use of every single thing. You cannot assume that what the owner of the website says on the front page is what the owners of everything on that site agree with … as the saying goes ‘caveat emptor’ (you can Google that too đŸ˜‰


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