These top 20 Earth Images of 2020 are a perfect example of NASA footage you can use. NASA allows anyone to use these photos and videos according to the NASA FAQ.

There are a few conditions, but in general “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted. If copyrighted, permission should be obtained from the copyright owner prior to use. If not copyrighted, NASA material may be reproduced and distributed without further permission from NASA.” Read the FAQ for yourself to make sure you are following the few rules.

These videos can add a lot to your video. You can’t state or imply that NASA endorses a commercial product, service, or activity. But it does not hurt to have earth shots in your video.

I’ve used NASA footage in many a corporate video. Back in the early days, you would have to contact NASA by mail and request their videotapes, but they were quite accommodating. Today it is much easier.

Public domain footage can save you a fortune and make your videos look pretty spectacular. And when you obtain a copyright-free government video, you can use that footage again and again. One ambitious filmmaker even made an irreverent feature length film from government footage. It is called “Atomic Cafe.” It was selected for preservation in the annual United States’ National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Read more about that film in the Wikipedia article by the same name.

You’ve probably seen the TV shows like The History Channel and other videos that have been made from the government’s World War II footage.

Profitable ways to use this footage are limited only by your imagination.

While almost all films and videos produced by the government are free of copyright, there are some exceptions. The classic films Frank Capra produced during World War II are copyrighted even though he produced them with government funds. He is, after all one of America’s best filmmakers.

The Marketing With Digital Video goes into greater depth on using public domain footage like NASA footage in your videos.