Images and Music

All members of the BYU community–faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and patrons–are expected to respect the rights of copyright owners. When copyrighted content is needed, it should either be a) obtained from an authorized source, b) analyzed for a fair use, or c) covered by the teaching exemption when only used in class. Please refer to our Fair Use and Teaching and Copyright tabs for more information on when those exemptions would apply. Or contact our office for guidance on specific situations.

Although BYU does not endorse any particular sources of copyrighted content, the following resources may be helpful to members of the BYU community who are seeking legitimate sources of online content. In many cases, such content is available at no cost under a creative commons license, or in the public domain and free to use for any purpose without paying royalties.

Pexels – Hand-picked, hi-res, FREE photos | NO Attribution Required (CCO License)
Pixabay – 1Million+ stock photos, vectors, and art illustrations | NO Attribution Required (CCO license)

Unsplash – Professional photographers giving photos away for free! | Credit Appreciated, though not required

Wikimedia Commons – Thousands of images available under free creative commons licenses, or in the public domain.
The Met Museum Art Collection – Nearly 400,000 high-quality images of The Met’s holdings have been made available for free!
New York Public Library Public Domain Collections – More than 180,000 high-quality images from the library’s holdings are public domain and free to use.
Canva – A comprehensive list of the 73 top free stock image websites.
Flickr Commons – Thousands of user-generated images uploaded to Flickr. Be careful to check the licenses and terms of use on each image. Also be cautious of famous images that are potentially still under copyright with the original creators.
New York Public Library Public Domain Collections – More than 180,000 high-quality images from the library’s holdings are public domain and free to use.
WikiGallery – These images cannot be used for commercial purposes.
BYU Art & Art History Lib Guide – The HBLL has purchased subscriptions for the use of hundreds of thousands of images in various galleries in classrooms and for scholarly purposes.

#freefotofriday – Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to see our weekly features of a new, FREE, high quality image site every Friday.

Music Resources

OmniMusic – Extensive music library to which BYU has a paid subscription; access is limited to individuals with a current Net ID and password.
Fatty’s Music – Music licensing service for multimedia projects. Includes music by many BYU graduates.
Friendly Music – Music licensing platform; YouTube Partner.
Jamendo – Royalty free music by independent artists.
The Music Bed – Licensing source for popular indie music.
Music Dealers –Music licensing platform providing pre-cleared music and custom song creation for content creators. – Royalty-free music for non-profit and non-commercial uses for students and faculty at educational institutions.
Song Freedom – Music licensing platform for photographers and cinematographers.
Triple Scoop Music – Indie music licensing platform.

Audio Jungle – Library of professional background-style tracks. Licensing begins at $20.


Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Google Books
Project Gutenberg

FAQs and Other Resources

Legal Sources of Online Content, EDUCAUSE
Respect Copyrights FAQs
YouTube Copyright FAQs

Church Statements Regarding Media and Copyright

  1. “Deceitful acts supposedly veiled in secrecy, such as illegally downloading music from the Internet or copying CDs or DVDs for distribution to friends and families, are nonetheless deceitful. We are all accountable to God, and ultimately we will be judged of Him according to our deeds and the desires of our hearts (see Alma 41:3). “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
    Things as They Really Are, Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, June 2010.
  2. “Church members should strictly observe all copyright laws…”
    Copyright Guidelines, Music Callings and Resources, Official LDS Church website.
  3. “What’s wrong with ‘free’ downloads? The cost is too high.”
    It’s Just a Copy, Right? Janessa Cloward, New Era, February, 2008.
  4. “And downloading certain songs or movies from the Internet violates copyright laws and is dishonest.”
    Internet Café, Arianne B. Cope, New Era, March, 2005.
  5. “Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or networking enables computer users to download or “share” music or media for little or no cost. Because copyright violations abound, most peer-to-peer file sharing is illegal, especially when computer users trade files with people they don’t know. And most Internet filters cannot block peer-to-peer file sharing.”
    Fighting Internet Filth, Mario Hipol, Liahona, August, 2005.
  6. “Many people rationalize committing “small” acts of dishonesty such as keeping extra change they receive in the grocery store, taking home supplies from the workplace, being less than accurate on tax returns, disobeying copyright laws, and so on.”
    Honesty in Small Things, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, Ensign, September, 2003.
  7. Church copyright information and common Q/A located in Section 21.1.12 Church Handbook, Handbook 2: Administering the Church