One of the first things we explain to producers starting a show at NCTV is the use of copyright-free music. While we understand the desire to add your favorite tune to your video, it’s important to follow the laws regarding use of other artists’ creations. An easy way to consider if you can use something or not is to ask; do you have expressed permission from the creator to use the material? This goes for more than just music too, you cannot use photos, other videos, or even fonts in some situations without permission. The internet has made it simple to access materials, so we have to be even more careful about using things properly.

Since we are constantly using different media here at NCTV we have built up a list of places to obtain copyright-free items. This list is a good place to start exploring music, images, and videos that you can use without copyright issues. Remember to note if attribution is required though, and if so that just means you need to give the artist and media credit somewhere in your video.
From their website: “Pixabay is a vibrant community of creatives, sharing royalty free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.”
Kevin MacLeod produces music and allows people to use it for free as long as you credit him. This is an amazing and generous collection to source songs from.
This is an extensive collection of music of all sorts, and sound effects. Some things do require attribution, so make note of that.
Wonderful Hubble Space Telescope videos and images! From their website: “Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all the images and videos on are available for use without prior permission and without charge. You must however include a credit — the credit required for each image or video is listed along with the caption. Our full copyright policy is available on this link:
“NASA content - images, audio, video, and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format - generally are not copyrighted. You may use this material for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.”
While this website primarily sells content, this link will take you to their free items. From their website - “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 vast resource for videos and motion graphics. From their website: “You can use our free stock footage clips in any project, commercial or non-commercial on a royalty-free basis, and with no complicated licensing. This allows you to concentrate on what you do best – creating awesome videos.”
While all of the music is free to download from this website different songs have different license requirements. This link on their website breaks down what each license means





And if you still haven’t found what you’re looking for there are numerous other places to find content. At NCTV we’re happy to help guide you through the confusing copyright lingo, so contact us if you need support!

AuthorJen Jacobs