I usually prepare my loops from downloaded videos on the Internet. For ethical reasons I always try to get “free” material, in the sense of having open source-style licenses like creative commons.
Here there is a list of cool webstes where to get good stuff:
This is my favorite one, all the material is free, you can choose different media types and there is a very cool library of vintage videos called Prelinger collection: http://www.archive.org/details/prelinger with a lot of 50’s and 60s commercials and documentaries. Perfect for nice, old looking loops!
Another interesting library is the Ephemeral: http://www.archive.org/details/ephemera, with mostly old educational videos.
Almost all videos have open licenses (creative commons, public domain etc.) but be careful and read the License box before usign them!
A really nice source of VJ loops. All loops are under Creative Commons license. It’s not really my kind of style, but they are objectively nice.
Really cool videos from the past, all their collection is also on archive.org but licensing is not very clear. They sell videos in high quality but regarding low quality previews on the web it is not very clear how you can use the material (I have sent them an email, let’s see).
UPDATE: I have sent them an email and their answer is pretty clear:
Thanks for the inquiry.
If you use the material that is already online, it’s free and clear. We’d love a donation if the film clips were helpful to you and you’d like to support our effort to get more films online. (http://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/donate/) Even a couple of dollars will help – maybe buy us a beer or two..
We also have started an Adopt-a-film program where you can put money towards digitizing other films in our collection: http://www.avgeeks.com/wp2/adopt-a-film/
A/V Geeks LLC
The perfect idea for the VJ who looks for specific semantics in the loop. You put the word and search. The website contains mostly links to other sources, and the licensing is not always clear, so be careful and read the details of the movie clearly!
checkout the blog from the official creative commons webiste, sometimes really nice stuff are published there, and you won’t have doubts about the license.
whatever is here is with free license, many weird videos, sometimes even too weird.
Beautiful old videos. And these are really ooold ones. Since industry has not obtained an infinite life extension of copyright yet (give them few years still), these movies are completely public domain.
Do you want the bomb? Here’s a nice collection about experiments with nuclear bombs. All the material is of public domain. A little bit repetitive though.
The creative commons site has a list of links to other search engines that allow creative commons content. Among them, there is a link to Youtube, which already supports CC as an official licensing scheme, the pity is that the site doesn’t really allow filtering per license and thus you have to pay attention at what the results are. In any case you can use this website also for looking for pictures and types of content.
If you go to the advanced settings, you can choose the type of license the content you are looking for should have. Then, back on the search page, you can select Videos as the type of content. I have to say that I have found more stuff on Archive than on Google, their searching algorithms are still not very good at selecting licenses.
11) UPDATE: videopong
I was forgetting a very valuable source: videpong, a community of VJs who can upload their Creative Commons loops. It is one of the most interesting ideas there are around at the moment about copyleft VJing. The quality of the loops can be from absolutely awful to very professional. If you want to be part of the community you are obliged to send some loops of your own (produced by you) with a CC license.