Skip to Main Content

Online Teaching Resources Library Guide: Royalty Free

This guide will assist faculty teaching web-facilitated, blended, or online courses at Long Island University.

Does Royalty Free really mean "free"? Not really.

Royalty free copyright entitles use of material without paying royalties or fees for each use. Essentially, Royalty Free is NOT free.  Royalty free licensing may require a one time fee and may either limit the use of the works OR permit liberal access, such as repeated use of content, no time limits, distributed different ways (i.e., web, print, etc).

It is important to read and follow the terms and conditions of the licensing agreement.

Cemprehensive website of links.
Royalty Free Music and Sound Sites
"A free site where you can search the Web for sound effects and musical instrument samples."

Freeplay Music

Free music and sound effects.

Free Sound Effects

"You may use the sound effects on this web site free of charge in your video, film, audio and multimedia productions..."


Royalty-free music.

Sound Effects Libraries

Free sound effects and also links to licensed providers.

The Internet Archive

A collection of images and sound

Legal Downloading Sites

The Higher Education Opportunity Act requires all colleges and universities to offer legal alternatives to unauthorized downloading.

Some of the sites listed below provide some or all content at no charge; they are funded by advertising or represent artists who want their material distributed for free, or for other reasons:

Legal Sources of Online Content

Reverse Image Searching

A reverse image search allows you to:

  • Find similar images based on an existing one
  • Identify where an image has been shared or used on the Internet
  • Determine the original source of an image.

Media Sites Filtered by CC License

The following sites contain media (videos, photos, etc.) that are covered under Creative Commons license. 

Simply search for resource and review the Creative Commons license within context with your usage needs.