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I was going to use Lena because most people would know what it should look like, but suddenly I thought "Isn't this picture copyrighted?" and searched the web. It seems that, at the very least, it is possible that the image is copyrighted. Then, is there any other famous sample image that most people knows and NOT copyrighted (free to use)?

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  • It would have to be a very old picture (1924 is the newest year in US where something is nolonger copyright) or one expressly dropped into public domain but even that is problemmatic. Id say Lena is ok unless you object to the source it came from for political reasons. But yeah lena is copyrighted, every picture ever taken is.
    – joojaa
    Jan 21 '20 at 6:02
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    This is hardly authoritative, but Wikipedia says "Playboy ... has decided to overlook the wide use of Lena."
    – tripleee
    Jan 21 '20 at 6:58
  • It's safer to assume all photographs are copyright unless the copyright has expired. Also note that copyright expiry law differs by country and is often a highly complex legal issue. You should ask a lawyer at your location for legal advice, and note that questions seeking legal advice are generally off-topic here on GDSE. Personally speaking, I wouldn't take the risk. I'd buy a licence to use an image from a stock photography site instead, or find a Creative Commons image that can be used for your particular use case. This is not legal advice, just common sense.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jan 21 '20 at 8:14

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