LMAC School - Free Materials for creating collages (Contains the LMAC Whitelist)

Finding suitable sources for image parts that you want to use in your own collages is not easy anyway. After all, you have clear ideas about what you want to include in your collages.
In addition, according to LMAC contest rules, you must only use images that are free of copyright in order for your collages to be allowed to participate in the contest.
Of course, this limits the usable image sources available on the internet, but this post is meant to give you back some freedom. It contains a list of image sources where you can find free images to use in your collages without violating LMAC rules or infringing third party copyright.

Cover image - Image source

1. Legal issues

This is not legal advice, but a description of personal experiences and opinions! I have read the information on which parts of this article consist from public sources myself.

1.1. Public Domain versus image search

Unfortunately, there is still a widespread misconception about images found in the search results of the trusted search engines. Many believe that they would be free to use.
In fact, this is not always, or almost never the case.
The use of images found this way, can even lead to legal problems whenever you publish works created with them.
For this reason, many lawyers have specialized in prosecuting copyright infringements. It is a thriving business.

1.2. Images from apps

Even if an image processing app is free, this does not necessarily mean that the images are also free or free of any copyright.
In fact, it is usually the case that the in-app images are only free for use in the app and only for personal use, but not for use outside the app.
Read the end-user licence of your app or contact the developers if you cannot find information about the terms of use.

1.3. Fan fiction and fan art

Is fan art or fan fiction copyright infringement? Actually yes!
Only the original copyright owner has the sole right over his original works and all intellectual property associated with it. Symbols, color setting, fonts and much more is associated with the copyright.
Many copyright owners appreciate fan art very much. Because often fan art is free advertising. But not every copyright owner likes it and every copyright owner can change his mind at any time.
Due to these facts, it is impossible that fan art which clearly shows intellectual property of the copyright owner can be Public Domain.

You find on Pixabay an authentic drawing of your favorite superhero you know from movies. On Pixabay, all images are actually Public Domain.
But in this case, Public Domain conflicts with the copyright of the movie company. The image is therefore not Public Domain.

As soon as you earn money with a derivative of such an image, the copyright owner possibly could claim license fees or, in the worst case, even damage compensation.

1.4. CC-By, CC-XX, CC-XX-XX versus CC-0

The license called "Creative Commons" is widely known. It is a license that allows images (and other types of works) to be "freely" distributed, used and, under certain conditions, modified. But there is not just one Creative Commons (CC) license. Rather, there are many variations. Whenever an image is licensed under CC, it is indicated by the prefix CC, followed by suffixes that indicate specific attributes for that CC license.
In short, only the CC-0 license attribute is comparable to "public domain." But I'll explain the differences anyway in the table below.

Licence attributeDescription
CC-0It is the only suitable CC type for picture parts in collages handed in for the LMAC contest.
CC-BYIt is required to name the author of the image if you publish a work based on it or derived from it.
CC-NCNot for commercial use. Therefore, you should not use an image licensed under CC-NY for your art published on Hive.
CC-NDIt is not allowed to create derivates or remixes of the image.
CC-SAYou must publish your work based on an image licensed under CC-SA under the same license.

The CC attributes, except from the CC-0 can be mixed together. In example CC-BY-NC.

More about Creative Commons: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license

2. Image sources

LMAC Whitelist note: These are currently the only image sources (apart from your own repertoire) that are allowed to be used for participation in the LMAC contest. But feel free to suggest other image sources by commenting on this post or via Discord.

Currently we consider AI image generators as image sources. Please note that this whitelist does not include any AI generators.

2.1. Hives "Stock Images"

This is a community in our beloved Hive where you are welcome to post and use free images that are published under Public Domain. They have a handy index post there, in which the individual photos are listed in a categorized manner.

Link: https://peakd.com/c/hive-118554
Image categories: photos, illustrations, artworks
Pro: All images there, are from Hivians and so you can easily thank the author of an image by adding him as a beneficiary of your post's rewards.
Contra: The content of the community is not big yet, but still growing. But the good thing is that you too can help this community grow. Please note that some creators also publish their images there with non-free licenses (CC-By for example). Only free images are allowed for use in LMAC collages.

⚠ For easy search in this community you can use HiveSearcher with #hivestockimages as first keyword.
Example link: https://hivesearcher.com/search?q=hivestockimages%20animal

2.2. Pixabay

Link: https://pixabay.com/
Image categories: photos, illustrations, artworks, vector graphics
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords. The user interface is multilingual. Has a wide range of images.
Contra: High resolutions are available for registered users only.

2.3. Pexels

Link: https://www.pexels.com/
Image categories: photos
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords. The user interface is multilingual. Has a wide range of images.
Contra: Many images are thematically related to Life Style. Has a lack of image descriptions.

2.4. Public Domain Pictures

Link: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/
Image categories: photos, illustrations, artworks
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords and searching in categories.
Contra: Attention: It may happen sometimes that a link in the search results points to a stock image website on which the respective image is "not free to use"!

2.5. Unsplash

Link: https://unsplash.com/
Image categories: photos
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords. Has a wide range of images.
Contra: Has a lack of image descriptions.

2.6. Pixnio

Link: https://pixnio.com/
Image categories: photos
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords.
Contra: Has a lack of image descriptions. Has a small range of images.

2.7. PurePNG

Link: https://purepng.com/
Image categories: Transparent picture parts.
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords.
You don't need to cut out picture parts, because all images there have a transparent background.
Contra: Not all of the images published there are fully free to use.
PurePNG makes use of the CC license and the various attributes described in section 1.2.
Link contributed by: @seckorama

2.8. Kaboompics

Link: https://www.kaboompics.com/
Image categories: photos
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords.
Contra: Contains a lot of Stock Image advertising.
Link contributed by: @brittandjosie

2.9. Life of pix

Link: https://www.lifeofpix.com
Image categories: photos
Pro: Easy to find images by using tag keywords and in categories.
Contra: Has a small range of images.
Link contributed by: @brittandjosie

2.10. PXfuel

Link: https://www.pxfuel.com/
Image categories: photos
Pro: High resolutions are standard. Easy to find images by using tag keywords..
Contra: Currently none known
Link contributed by: @justclickindiva

2.11. Mixamo (3D)

Link: https://www.mixamo.com/
3D categories: Character 3D models and animations
Pro: Easy to find suitable animations per character model.
There is a wide variety of animations for rigged character models.
Contra: Currently none known.

2.12. LMAC Image Library

Link: https://lmac.gallery/lmac_gallery
Image categories: Photos, cutouts, 3D renderings, art
Pro: Easy to find suitable images by using keywords in a search input field. By using the images in the LIL, you are actively supporting the creators of the images you use for your collage. It is netiquette in LMAC to give 2% credit to the creators of the images you use by adding them as beneficiaries in your collage post.
Contra: Currently none known. :-)

Best regards

PS: This post is meant to be expanded over time. Please feel free to submit your link suggestions in the comment section.

Change log (Maintained since 8th July 21):

  • (8th July 21) Added note to section 2.
  • (9th July 21) Added 3D content source Mixamo.
  • (15th July 21) Changed title and changed text of the note in section 2.
  • (18th July 21) Added PXFuel to the sources.
  • (8th October 21) Added the LIL to the sources.
  • (13th January 23) Added note on AI generators.

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╰━━━━⋞ ♫ My Rising Star(s) ⋟━━━━╯

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