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How to Find Public Domain Video Content to Download

Hello Friend, as actors in the creative industry, of course we also need to learn about the law relating to our profession, so that we avoid unwanted things, especially legal disputes that can occur due to lack of literacy on this matter.


Video Public domain, public domain, public domain or any public domain that is not protected by exclusive intellectual property rights can be considered as public domain videos or in English commonly called Public Domain Video. This means, Because it is not or is no longer protected by exclusive rights, anyone can use this recording for free without having to ask permission to do so.

Some references about Public Domain / if you want to submit your work to this domain, CreativeCommon about  Public Domain

Where on creative common, license  CC0 “No Rights Reserved”, to dedicate the work to the public domain

CC0 allows scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyrighted content or databases to override such interests in their work and thereby place it as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others can freely build, improve and use it. return the work for any purpose without limitation under copyright or database laws.

In contrast to CC licenses which allow copyright holders to choose from a variety of licenses while retaining their copyright, CC0 empowers other options altogether – the option to opt out of copyright and database protection, and the exclusive rights automatically granted to the creator – “no there are alternative reserved” rights to our licences.

publik domain

What is Public Domain Video?

Videos may enter the public domain under the following circumstances:

  • If the recording is produced by the government, because the government is required by law to provide the tape to the public domain .Referensi Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States.

  • If the record maker dedicates the recording to the public domain on purpose, this means that the copyright owner no longer has the exclusive rights to his work.

  • If the record maker really dedicates the recording so that it can be used by the public / he submits it to the public domain, so that anyone is free to use it.

  • A film or other work of art becomes public domain 70 years after the copyright holder is gone . Referensi Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States

  • In addition, you must avoid the use of recordings containing art or music that can be described as third party intellectual property because you may inadvertently infringe copyright, if in Indonesia it may be said that old soap operas or films are owned by third parties which are usually in the form of company, so that the Copyright tends to continue  - Reference



Public Domain Symbol

Usually the Public domain is denoted by a logo like this...



But there is also a symbol like this ..

How to Find Public Domain Video Content?

There are several sites that you can visit to get video content in the public domain

  • National Park Service B-Roll Archive

        This website provides access to public domain videos from National Parks service sites, "including national parks, monuments, battlefields, historic sites and related areas".

  • Prelinger Archive

        This archive, located in the Internet Archive, offers access to a large number of public domain movies and videos. With more than 17,000 items in the collection, the Prelinger Archive is probably one of the largest public domain video libraries on the Internet.

    The archive was founded in 1983 by Rick Prelinger, but in 2002 became part of the Library of Congress Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division collections.

    You can download public domain video clips created by educational institutions, advertising companies, trade associations, or companies from this impressive collection.

    There are various download options available for each file, so you can choose the file size and the method you will use to download the file to your computer.

  • Vimeo Public Domain Channel 

    Vimeo offers an entire channel devoted to videos that are in the public domain.

  • YouTube:

    Free public domain videos that can be used for commercial purposes.

  • The Public Domain Review

    This is a great resource for researchers looking for old essays, books, audio recordings, pictures or films. Movies are divided into different categories like Animals & Animals, Politics, War or Sports which makes searching and downloading public domain videos faster and easier.

    Public Domain Review offers footage that is available under different public domain licenses, so you should make sure that the movie you want to download can be used for the purpose you have in mind. Most of the films in this archive are from the last decades of the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century. That's why The Public Domain Review's selection of films can only be useful if you research topics from that era.

  • The National Screening Room

    The National Screening Room is a project created by the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center with the aim of making videos from their collection available to audiences around the world.

    Most of the videos in the collection were filmed during the 20th century, but there are only a few videos available that were produced outside the United States.

    The National Screening Room can be a valuable place if you are looking for videos you can use for educational or research videos covering topics that range from the development of the weapons industry to the everyday lives of America's great inventors.

  • Pond5’s Public Domain Project

    Professional players in the film industry may be familiar with the Pond5 platform, as it is probably the largest online marketplace for royalty-free media today. Their Public Domain project contains a thousand public videos that can be downloaded for free, but the duration of these videos is limited to two minutes.

    This platform offers an advanced search tool in the form of Filters which allows you to search for videos based on different parameters, to search for public domain videos, you can add a public domain filter, so you can download public domain videos in HD resolution, but you must create an account on Pond5 before can save it to your computer.

  • Public Domain Footage

    BBC, National Geographics or NBC are just a few of the many well-known television networks that use the PublicDomainFootage service.

    All content on the platform is divided into Archive Snippets and Historical News sections containing categories such as Atomic Age, Civil Rights, or Pop Culture.

    You can also use PublicDomainFootage to research specific topics and request content that is not uploaded to websites. You can download public domain videos after you pay a one-time fee which allows you to use as many videos as you want. The platform's YouTube channel provides an easy way to search for public domain videos that you will use in your next documentary.

  • The Moving Image Archive

    This is another archive of public domain videos that you can find on featuring a countless collection of text, images and videos. Within the Motion Picture Archive, you can find various collections containing full-featured films, art videos, animations, cartoons, or television footage.

    Public domain videos hosted on The Moving Image Archive cover a wide range of topics, but some of them can have poor resolution. The Motion Picture Archive can be an excellent recording resource for anyone looking to download public domain video clips and use them in their commercial or non-commercial projects.

  • NASA’s Video Gallery

    If you are looking for some space public domain videos, the NASA website is the best place for it. Like all other government agencies, NASA is required by law to offer all images and videos to the public domain. This means that all the content you download from their website is free to use.

    Just enter a search term and browse through the results until you find the video clip you want to save to your computer.

    However, most of the public domain videos you can download from the NASA website only last a few minutes. However, you need to read the guideline to use it, for non-commercial use, you can use it.. Read

  • Pexels

    Free public domain stock footage can be used in a wide variety of projects, and is usually a great choice if you're looking for a few extra shots that will make the scene in your video more cinematic.

    Pexels offers an impressive collection of free public domain stock videos, so you just have to enter a search term and choose the video clip that best fits your needs.

    The free videos you can find on Pexels rarely exceed thirty seconds in length, which makes it difficult to create an entire video exclusively from free public domain stock footage. It's therefore a good idea to use Pexels as a supplementary source of shooting footage, if you can't get back to the set.

    But after I search, most of what is on Pexel is sourced from Vimeo / hosted on the Vimeo Platform which is Blocked / not accessible in Indonesia.

Is it OK to Use Public Domain Video for Commercial Purposes?


All public domain videos can be used for both commercial and non-commercial projects, but you should be careful using public domain videos for commercial purposes. Crediting the author or providing the source from which you obtained the recording will reduce the potential for legal disputes.

Public domain videos featuring well-known actors or third-party intellectual property may also be the subject of legal disputes, so it's best to avoid using them in commercial projects.

Anyway, bro, when it comes to commercial, it's safer, making/recording your own videos, but right now we also need to pay attention to the recording object, don't let the place not allow for commercial use...  "For example, recording at Stadium A is for endorsement products, while Stadium A is not allowed to record with a camera for commercial purposes "so even though the object that is being recorded, we have a permit, while the property / place does not... yes, it could be a legal problem as well... 

In the world of photography, there is such a thing as a permit called "property release." Basically, if an object contains a visible property, it requires permission from the owner of the property, this is called  property release

How about Monetizing Videos containing Public Domain Footage, Is it OK?

When talking about youtube, then I will look for references from the source, namely Google "What types of content can I monetize" you can read for yourself in full ... but here I am snippet which is directly related to the Public Domain. 

For content to be in the public domain, the copyright to the work must have expired, been revoked, or no longer valid. If you prove that the content is in the public domain, you can monetize it (subject to the scope, limitations and commercial permissions of the license granted).



What if you can't find the right Public Domain Footage for your video/film Project?

Another alternative I can suggest is to search for videos by searching for videos with Creative Commons license, with you Selecting videos protected by Creative Commons I think, is probably the safest option if you are having trouble finding the public domain footage you want to use in the project.


Bottom line Respecting the license terms under which the video is protected is of the utmost importance, because failing to properly credit the video maker, for example, could have legal consequences. Please read about the creative common license for international, or for Indonesia also has a creative common license

Referensi lain :





Why did I embed so many references in this article? because the point is here I make notes, for me personally and who knows from my friend, there is someone who wants to add if my friend has a background / experience in this field.




Disclaimer :

It's not that this note / log is "Absolute" it could be that I was wrong in doing research related to the material ... the purpose of this note is to learn together, but mostly, you can directly check the related sources that I have listed in this Notes Article.

Bottom line.. this note is not intended as a professional advice or legal advice. Readers are advised to seek professional advice from other parties who are more competent in accordance with the problems at hand. I am not responsible for the legal consequences experienced by readers of this note.

Regarding Copyright, never admit "Others' Work" even though it's a Public Domain, it feels unethical too, admitting - I'm someone else's work.. khan.. :)

If you want to get EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS, please make your own work :)


Hopefully the discussion of the results of this research is useful for you, at least add a little knowledge ^_^

A.Ks - RED

Original Article on Our Network RahmanCyber

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