Archive for February, 2009
One of my subscribers is taking books and booklets created by the U.S. Government and is making them available in print form through Amazon. He downloads them for free from the Government websites, tweaks them and publishes them through a POD company. Then he has them listed on Amazon. It’s a simple, yet brilliant process with zero cost involved. And here is the sweet part…they’re adding thousands of dollars to his bank account on a very regular basis…thanks to the Public Domain.
There is another subscriber who is downloading Public Domain images and creating composite images of them to sell to the Scrapbooking and Graphic Design markets. Her ideas and designs are amazing and there is zero cost involved for her, and yet she is adding thousands of dollars a month to her bank account…thanks to the Public Domain.
Recently, I have created some video products where I took images and text from the Public Domain and used the online video software, Animoto.com, to turn them into cool video clips that I recently began selling as a package for thousands of dollars to Fortune 500 companies. Zero cost for the content and thousands of dollars in sales…thanks to the Public Domain.
I could give example after example…just from fellow subscribers like you! So let me ask you…
What about you?
The Public Domain is the single greatest source for proven content on the planet…period. And in many cases, the content is freely available…zero cost to you! Millions of Public Domain works are available at your fingertips right now, thanks to the world wide web! It’s sitting there waiting to be used…by YOU!
I use a simple formula for producing successful products. It goes like this:
Proven Content + Creative Innovation = Successful Products
In my new release, “Public Domain Profit Centers,” I address this formula at length and how you can use this simple process to achieve your own success with Public Domain works. I also include 230 or so new websites to find that content…many of the new ones I’ve been using to get my content. All the ones for the examples above are also in there.
The thing that’s great about this new release is that it applies to nearly ANY market, ANY niche, ANY type of business you may be involved with. The information I’ve included in it is not just geared toward Internet Marketers…it’s practical so that everyone can find it useful and helpful…including you.
As a former commercial photographer and graphic designer, I was naturally drawn to the images side of the Public Domain first…even before books! It was from selling images that I made my first dollars from the Public Domain…thousands of dollars actually! Of course, images (photographs, illustrations, fine art, ephemera, maps, etc.) are those images whose copyrights have expired or that did not qualify for copyright protection. For this article, I want to focus on the latter option…how to find images that do not qualify for copyright protection.
Many people do not realize it, but most content created by our Federal Government does not qualify for copyright protection because, when created as a part of a Federal employee’s regular duties, the content is paid for by taxpayer’s dollars and is therefore “owned” by the people. Simply stated, that means that you are free to use Federal Government-created content (books, images, videos, audios, etc.) in any way you see fit because YOU paid for it! So let’s take a quick look at what your hard-earned money paid for in the way of image resources.
There are a TON of image resources available online (and offline) related to images…in this article, I’m going to focus on two of the best. One of my personal favorites is the U.S. Government Photos and Graphics site (http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Graphics.shtml) Most of these images and graphics are available for use in the public domain, and they may be used and reproduced without permission or fee. However, some images may be protected by license, so you want to make sure you thoroughly read the disclaimers on each site before use.
When you visit this page, you will discover that it is actually a directory of government website links where you can locate photographs and graphics. Nice of them to make it easy for us…guess they should since we paid for it! As you scan down through the list, you’ll quickly discover that there are LOTS of photos available to you from this portal…literally hundreds of thousands of them!
Some of my personal favorite websites listed on this page include:
America’s Historical Documents (http://www.archives.gov/historical-docs/)
Earth as Art (http://earthasart.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.htm)
Grand Canyon National Park (http://www.nps.gov/archive/grca/photos/index.htm)
National Park Service (http://www.nps.gov/pub_aff/imagebase.html)
Portraits and Stock Photos (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/pix/)
There is another Government-image site that I really enjoy digging through called “Government “Resources for Science Images” found at the Sciences Reference Services (http://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/selected-internet/imagesources.html). This is another image portal site for Government-produced image content specifically related to the sciences. Yes, I admit it…I am a science geek…always have been! Anyway, there are a few sites that were also included on the previous resource website, but there are many new sites listed here as well. One of my personal favorite sites from this portal HAS to be the USGS Maps and Imagery site (http://www.usgs.gov/pubprod/) the very first Public Domain anything I sold (and made a lot of money from) was a USGS map of Atlantic City that was reproduced by the printing company I managed. Having access to big printing presses has its advantages! I was selling these maps 20 years ago at flea markets…now you can download them digitally and sell them literally anywhere! And again…because you paid for their creation, it’s your legal right to do so!
I always say that you can’t find what you don’t know to look for, and I hope that this brief article has peeled back the curtain just a bit to what is available to you image-wise courtesy our Federal Government (and your tax-payer dollars of course). In a future article, I’ll share some ways you can profit from all the image content found on these sites, but until then, let me leave you with one simple thought: Where do you think ALL the books, posters, t-shirts and all the other Obama-related products available out there got their image content from? You guessed it!!
In my popular e-book, “Easy Money Picture Project,” I go into great detail on how to locate and use Public Domain image content to create successful, money-producing image-based products. In the book I share a long list of websites where you can find Public Domain images of all types, how-to sections for actually creating products from Public Domain images, case studies of those who are using Public Domain images in successful business ventures and SO much more. I normally sell this 200+ page e-book for $97, but for a limited time, you can get it for $30 less HERE.
It was late afternoon on a warm Saturday and my nine-year-old mind was whirling with excitement. There we were…my Dad, his buddy and me…laying on our bellies in a cow pasture looking out across the field. “I can’t see anything, Dad!” “They’ll be out…just watch!” Soon, a groundhog appeared about 300 yards away. He was what we were waiting for.
The farmer had called Dad to come to visit the farm because of the reputation Dad had for hunting groundhogs. They were particularly bothersome for cattle farmers because the cattle would sometimes stumble into the holes and break a leg. So there we laid…Dad and me on a stony ridge watching the old groundhog eating near his hole. Dad’s buddy, Dave, was only a short distance away. I don’t remember why I looked up, but as Dad was preparing to bring the “pig” in his sights, I looked over at Dave. And there, straddling Dave completely was a cow…two legs on one side and two legs on the other. The funny part was that Dave didn’t even know. I poked Dad and pointed to the unfolding scene. Suddenly the groundhog didn’t matter anymore. One quick move and Dave would be trampled. Well, after a while, the cow backed away and walked on down into the pasture. And the groundhog…he met his ancestors another day…but for now his life was spare because of the curiosity of a cow.
I share that story because when I was young, some of my fondest memories were those hunting with Dad…and so it was fitting that Dad would choose to cross over into the next life on, of ALL days, Groundhog Day. Happy hunting Dad…smile.
Photography has always been a part of my life…and it was because of Dad. I remember spending hours running all around Upper Strasburg where I grew up with my Great-Grandmother’s Kodak Hawkeye Instamatic camera that took square pictures on 126 film. I snapped pictures of buildings, flowers, sunsets…anything outdoors because those were the kinds of pictures Dad loved to take. As I got older, I took more and more photos and I dreamed of having the ultimate camera…a 35mm SLR. I remember cutting “actual size” photos of the Canon cameras out from the photography magazine ads just so I could pretend holding them. One day, and I remember this SO vividly, Dad and I were standing in the kitchen of our home there in Upper Strasburg and he was encouraging me to take more pictures…he saw that I had an eye for it. And I remember telling him, “Dad, what I really need is a good camera…one with interchangeable lenses.” And he said, “You mean like this one?” From behind his back, as if by magic, he presented me with a Canon FTb. I was speechless…didn’t know what to say, I was so surprised. I’ll never forget that day as long as I live.
That gift secured in me one of my great loves and passions…a love I continue to this day. The funny thing is that, even though Dad’s ability to take pictures waned due to his health, he actually had more camera gear than me. The last lens I bought for him just a few short months ago was a Canon 85mm f1.8. He saw my lens and the pictures I shot with it and wanted one. I don’t know if he ever actually had the opportunity to use it, but it made him SO happy to have such an amazing lens that his son used to snap some pretty cool car pictures. That was Dad…always the photography buff!
Dad was always conversational and outgoing, a lover of cameras and trains and a collector of model trucks. During his life, he was a truck driver, a security guard, a sound engineer, an electrician, a maintenance worker for the local school district and much more. He loved to debate the Scriptures, talk about UFO’s, help me fly model rockets and reload his own ammunition. He was tenacious but friendly, a wise guy but also always willing to help and serve. He was very sentimental and always praying. That was Dad!
Now he is among old friends and new ones…he is there with Kola and with other precious loved ones…a special little girl comes to mind. Perhaps he’ll get to know your loved ones as well…he IS a talker! In any case, he is no longer suffering but rather, taking pictures of the most exquisite scenes he’s ever laid eyes on…and I think that’s going to keep him busy for a while…at least until I get there, whenever that might be in the future. He will be loved and missed, admired and respected…and always my Dad!