Greetings!   Vintage Printable collects public domain or out-of-copyright images for you to print or download, for free.

Creative Commons License. Swivelchair Media.

Unless otherwise indicated, the collective work here is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. What do we mean?

The bottom line is that we pay for our servers, and we provide our time free, and we’d like to cover our costs.

To be clear, this is a high-rent problem to have — we have lots of page views, and so had to spring the bucks for a dedicated server, rather than the el cheapo shared hosting.  So our costs are for the server, for sys admin services, and for our developer/designers that we hire off of Elancers.

We get money from Adsense and other ad networks from time to time.  So… if someone scrapes our site and duplicates it, then we’re in the hole out-of-pocket for server fees.

It’s  not a huge deal, but we’d like to be at least cash-flow neutral. Plus, we don’t take bribes or product placements, mostly out of laziness and our need for anonymity.


1. The site as a whole, large portions (like categories or pages) or organizational principles/code:

What we really object to are site scrapers and other “bots” who could just take large portions of our site outright.  So, we’re pretty firm about no copying our site.  We have this as a creative commons/attribution/non-commercial license.

Also we do object to using our organizational skills, such as they are. Please no copying our organization, such as it is, including meta-tags and other ways we organize our images. We’ve been at this since at least as early as 2007, and have about 30 -40K unique images in our media library, including meta tags, descriptions and other items.  We also spend time cleaning up the images, so they show up better on Google Image searches (like, removing yellowed backgrounds, so color searches are easier).

Of course, use the individual public domain images however you want that’s the point of the site. Feel free to make your own select image collections, like, images of fabric patterns or marbleized paper you like,for a Pinterest Board or your own website.

2. Individual images:
Creative Commons - Public Domain
Selected images from this work may be in the Public Domain, and Vintage Printable makes no claim to such images.

We find the

3. Weasel Words, disclaimers and NO REPS OR WARRANTIES.


Vintage Printable does not represent or warrant any characteristic, legal, technical, aesthetic or otherwise, about any image, or, really, anything else in the material world. You all know the drill.

We don’t make any legal determinations, and we rely on our sources for their determination of publication date/place and other descriptions. We believe these indicate the image is either not suitable for copyright (such as a US Federal Government-created image),  is subject to copyright expiry in the U.S., or otherwise not copyrighted.

Please contact your trusted advisor for specifics, but Cornell Copyright Information Center publishes a handy cheat sheet for public domain/copyright general guidelines:
Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States [n.b., this links to the 2014 version at the time this page was edited, and it may be updated].

From Footnote 1:   “This chart was first published in Peter B. Hirtle, ‘Recent Changes To The Copyright Law: Copyright Term Extension,’ Archival Outlook, January/February 1999. This version is current as of 1 January 2014 . The most recent version is found at For some explanation on how to use the chart and complications hidden in it, see Peter B. Hirtle, ‘When is 1923 Going to Arrive and Other Complications of the U.S. Public Domain,’ Searcher (Sept 2012).
The chart is based in part on Laura N. Gasaway’s chart, ‘When Works Pass Into the Public Domain,’ at <>, and similar charts found in Marie C. Malaro, A Legal Primer On Managing Museum Collections (Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998): 155-156. A useful copyright duration chart by Mary Minow, organized by year, is found at <>. A ‘flow chart’ for copyright duration is found at <>, and a “tree-view” chart on copyright is at <>. Several U.S. copyright duration calculators are available online, including the Public Domain Sherpa ( and the Durationator (in beta at Europeana’s public domain calculators for 30 different countries outside of the U.S. (at The Open Knowledge Foundation has been encouraging the development of public domain calculators for many countries: see See also Library of Congress Copyright Office. Circular 15a, Duration of Copyright: Provisions of the Law Dealing with the Length of Copyright Protection ( Washington, D.C. : Library of Congress, 2004) <>. Further information on copyright duration is found in Chapter 3, “Duration and Ownership of Copyright,” in Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for Digitization for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, by Peter B. Hirtle, Emily Hudson, and Andrew T. Kenyon (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Library, 2009) available for purchase at and as a free download at .
Please see our FAQ for more information.

One thought on “Copyright Policy”

  1. I create very small canvas art of various types for sale.

    I would like to use some photos (or portions of some vintage photos/items) on my artwork which is for sale to the public. The copies I would use would be altered.

    Is this allowed?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>