Thanks to Alon for sending this in! This has been up for a while now but it’s still cool if you haven’t heard of it. Via the creators project.
For filmmakers, designers, photographers, and just about any kind of creatives, the public domain is an important resource, full of copyright-free materials that can be used and remixed to create new art. The legal intricacies of copyright and public domain, however, can be daunting, and finding specific pieces of footage, for example, from organizations like the US National Archive can be a tedious and user-unfriendly experience. Today, royalty-free video marketplace Pond5 launches the Public Domain Project in order to solve this problem, opening up to the public a massive, thoroughly-organized treasure trove of about 80,000 copyright-free video clips, photos, sound recordings, and 3D models.
The project includes digital models of NASA tools and satellites, Georges Méliès’ 1902 film, A Trip To The Moon, speeches by political figures like Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, Jr., recordings of performances from composers like Beethoven, and a laid-back picture of President Obama playing pool (below). Since they existed solely in physical form within the National Archives, about 5,000 of the film clips had been nearly impossible to access for most filmmakers. The Public Domain Project directly digitized the footage themselves and combined it with 5,000 more copyright-free clips, making an easy-to-use marketplace that unifies a huge portion of the country’s historical resources. Artists can pick and choose from the helpfully labeled and tagged files to find just the right picture or clip to give their work some historical context, or to create a whole new artwork with its own unique meaning.