Help Kickstart a documentary about the king of Royalty-Free music, Kevin MacLeod

I just realized that I might hold a really lame world record.  I bet I’ve watched more video contest entries than anyone else on the planet.  I probably watch at least 1,500 contest videos every year (most of those are Crash the Super Bowl entries) and I’ve been doing so for more than five years now.  Once I started watching these entries habitually, I picked up on a weird trend; the name “Kevin MacLeod” was popping up constantly.  For some strange reason, tons of filmmakers around the world kept giving him a “music by” credit.  At first I though “Kevin MacLeod” had to be some kind of film industry joke-name like Alan Smithee.  But Kevin Macleod is definitively a real guy and over the last 18 years he’s managed to rack up thousands of “music by” credits.  His work has probably been used in hundreds of video contest entries but he also has more than 1,600 TV and film credits listed on his IMDB page.

So why does everyone love this guy’s work so much?  Well, because it’s free, that’s why.   MacLeod’s tracks are Royalty-Free and free to download from his website,  If you’ve ever used one of MacLeod’s free songs, you now have a chance to re-pay his largess.  Some filmmakers are producing a documentary about the composer and they’re trying to raise funds for the project on KickStarter.

The project has just 8 days left to meet it’s funding goal so donate while you can.  I’m genuinely interested in seeing this film so even though I’ve never used any of MacLeod’s music, I think I’m going to have to kick in a few bucks:

The British Library posts more than a million copyright-free images on flickr

welcome to earth
welcome to earth

If you use other people’s copyrighted material in your video contest entries, you’re going to get disqualified.  So I’m always on the lookout for archives of copyright-free and royalty-free music and graphics.  Well this week I hit the jackpot because the British Library has just posted a set of more than one million public domain images to their flickr account.  All of the artwork was scanned from books from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries and the library is actively encouraging people to use and remix these works.  Weird clip art and old-fashioned images would cost a lot to license through sites like istockphoto so this is a really great resource.  Because this material is all on the library’s flickr account, the search options aren’t very sophisticated.  But if you search their photostream you might get lucky.  You can even search for images from specific classic novels.  For instance, here’s one drawing that came up when I searched for “David Copperfield.”

Barkis is willin' to let you use this image for free
Barkis is willin’ to let you use this image for free

It’s young master Davey calling on good ole’ Barkis’ death bed.  How fun!  Now just remember, if you do use one of these images in a video contest entry, be sure to let the judges know where it came from and tell them that the artwork is in the public domain and that the scans are 100% copyright and royalty free.