Q. "I found this photo/video/music on the web. Can I use it in my project?"
A. Well... it depends.
A lot of the photos, images, videos, sounds, and music that you find on the web are copyrighted [what is copyright, anyway?]. In order to legally use them, you would have to get permission from the person and/or company that owns the copyright. In many cases, you would also have to pay a fee.
That's just not realistic for most of us. Fortunately, there are some sites that allow people to use their materials with few, and in some cases no, restrictions at all. The purpose of this guide is to introduce you to some of the best sources for copyright-friendly media files.
Please Note: The rules governing how you can use the materials on these sites vary considerably. In most cases, each item has its own specific conditions of use, so don't assume that all materials on a site have the same permissions.
Why do you need to know what Creative Commons is? Because there are a lot of search tools out there that use Creative Commons licenses as a way to limit your results to copyright-friendly items. If you have a basic understanding of how these licenses work, it will help you perform more efficient searches.
If you haven't heard about Creative Commons already, you probably will once you start looking for copyright-friendly stuff. Creative Commons is an organization that provides people with the tools they need to legally and ethically share the content they create with other people. You can learn more about Creative Commons by watching this short video.