Considering that the majority of lawyers are solos or in small firms, it’s also likely that you’re going to be in charge of marketing your practice. This likely means building out a website or putting together newsletters. But many lawyers are increasingly turning to alternative sources for marketing their practices. Youtube, podcasts, and more.
If you want to do any of these, you’ll need media assets. Pictures, clip art, video, audio, & more. And because you’re a lawyer, you (hopefully) know better than to just start using whatever you find online from a Google search.
All of these things are copyrighted and require licensing. Yes, just like clients pay you for your services, you have to pay for images, video, etc. that you use as well. At least act like you paid attention to IP when you were in law school.
Fortunately, some people put their creative works into the public domain, meaning they are free for everyone to use. (Almost) All creative works eventually enter the public domain once the requisite amount of time has passed.
Other modern creative works posted online will often use some variant of a Creative Commons license. Creative Commons licenses offer creators a spectrum of choices between retaining all rights and relinquishing all rights, an approach they like to call “Some Rights Reserved.”
Creative commons licensed works can fall under a variety of licensing schemes, but one of the most most common is an attribution license. That is, you’re allowed to use the creative work, even commercially, as long as the creator is given attribution.
For example, if you found a picture with an Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, you could use the picture on your blog or website as long as you attributed the creator. Which makes populating content much easier than having to generate it all yourself.
Media Resources For Lawyers
To save you the hassle of scouring the web to find places that have listings of public domain or CC-licensed work, I took it upon myself to do it for you. Yes, I know, I’m the best.
I initially did this for video way back in 2012. I updated it last year and it continues to be the best resource page for finding videos online. Click below to for video resources.
Need music for you podcast? Background music for a video or commercial? Sound effects? Look here:
- Internet Archive audio collection – Large collection of recordings, ranging from “alternative news programming, to Grateful Dead concerts, to Old Time Radio shows, to book and poetry recordings, to original music contributed by users.” Some public domain, some CC-licensed.
- MusOpen – Public domain classical music.
- Project Gutenberg – Collection of public domain music.
- WikiMedia Audio – Some public domain, some CC-licensed.
- Incompetech – CC-licensed. Lots of jingles and “background music.”
- FreeSoundtrackMusic – Soundtrack style audio. Some free, some available royalty-free.
- ChoralWiki – Public domain choral works.
- Freesound.org – Sound effects. CC-licensed.
This is a lot easier. Wikipedia already maintains a list of public domain photography resources.
- Wikipedia : Public Domain Image Resources You really don’t need much more than this. Click through here for a wealth of free image resources.
- Flickr Commons – Flickr is the largest website dedicated exclusively to photography. This is their project to catalogue images with “no known copyright” in conjunction with other public institutions.
- Flickr CC License – Images on Flickr with some variant of a CC license.
- Gratisography – High quality, high resolution, CC Zero (worldwide public domain).
- PixaBay – Images & video, CC Zero.
- Usplash – High quality, high resolution, CC Zero.
- Pexels – High quality, high resolution, CC Zero.
These are those funny little drawing that you mess around with in MS Word. These sites all claim for their clip art to be in the public domain.
There you go, a one-stop shop for all your free media needs. If you can’t get what you want from the above list, you’re probably putting too much effort into this whole thing.