Where to find CC licensed material

Where to find CC licensed material

Updated 4 August 2022

The main search tool for CC licensed materials is “Openverse” which allows easy and quick access to content that can be shared, used and remixed.

Openverse (formerly known as CC Search) allows users to search openly licensed collections. Users can filter for CC licensed images or audio on Openverse by clicking on the ‘all content’ dropdown in the search bar and selecting ‘images’ or ‘audio’.

Some of the most popular websites in the world can be also used to find CC licensed materials:

Google icon  Google, the most visited global search engine, allows searches for openly licensed resources by going to the advanced search page and setting “usage rights” parameters to “Free to use, share, or modify”.

YouTube icon  YouTube allows for access to CC licensed videos which can be found by typing in your search term followed by a comma and then “creative commons”. A second method allows for a filtering of results by first typing in your search term and pressing Enter, then filtering the results by selecting “Creative Commons” under the ‘Features’ header.

Wikipedia icon  Wikipedia offers millions of pages of information licensed under CC BY SA.


In addition to these websites there are other websites which can be used to find CC licensed images, music and videos and these are listed below:

Where to Find CC Licensed Images

When creating education resources it is often important to include visual aids such as images. There is an abundance of CC licensed images which are available to teachers to share, use and remix for free. The following are good websites for finding CC licensed images:

Openverse (formerly known as CC Search) allows users to search openly licensed collections. Users can filter for CC licensed images on Openverse by clicking on the ‘all content’ dropdown in the search bar and selecting ‘images’.

The following are good websites for finding CC licensed images:

   Compfight uses the Flickr search tool that can filter for CC licensed photos.

Creativity 103 icon   Creativity103 is a library of free abstract backgrounds, textures and design ideas.

CSIRO icon   CSIRO’s Science Image site contains over 4000 science and nature images that are free to download under the Creative commons license.

Encyclopedia of Life icon   Encyclopedia of Life offers over 2.9 million images depicting life on Earth.

Flickr icon  flickr has over 300 million CC licensed images searchable by licence type.

   Google Images allows searches for openly licensed images through its advanced search function by setting the “usage rights” parameters to be “Free to use, share, or modify”.

LibreStockLibreStock icon is a search tool that explores a range of openly licensed image libraries.

Open Clip Art Library icon   Open Clip Art Library offers over 67,000 public domain images also allowing for requests.

Pexels icon  Pexels  offers photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) licence.  This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose.  You may modify, copy and distribute the photos without seeking permission or setting a link to the source.  Attribution is not required.

Solvonauts icon  Solvonauts offers over 65,000 CC licensed resources in picture, video and audio formats.

The Stocks icon  The Stocks offer high quality free photos.  Additionally, all Creative Commons and Public Domain photos from sources like Flickr are made available and it is possible to embed them directly from their website.

StockSnap icon   StockSnap – a popular website with 40,000+ free stock photos released under Creative Commons CC0.

Stock up icon  Stock Up  offers 13,762 free photos across 27 websites.  Each photo will show the license when you hover over it.  All photos are either Creative Commons Zero or public domain.

The Wellcome images icon   The Wellcome Institute holds a range of unique visual and historical collections such as biomedical science and ancient manuscripts. It has released 100,000 high-resolution medical images available under a CC-BY licence and all low-resolution images on the site are openly licensed.

Wikipedia Commons icon   Wikipedia Commons is a database of almost 25 million media files searchable by genre and licence type.

Where to Find CC Licensed Music

Educational resources are also increasingly becoming more sensory with the use of music, sounds and videos. There are multiple sources of CC licensed audio-visual materials. The following sites are good sources of music and sounds:

Filmmusic all the music on this website can be used for free, even commercially and anywhere. The only thing you need to do is to make attribution and give appropriate credit.

Soundcloud icon   SoundCloud is a social sound platform with many tracks licensed under CC and searchable as such.

Jamendo icon  jamendo is an active community offering more than 350,000 free music tracks that are CC licensed and all available for streaming and unlimited download without ads.

Internet Archives icon   Internet Archive has a collection of CC licensed recordings such as news programmes, concerts, book and poetry readings and music, many of which are free to download.

CCmixter icon   ccMixter is a community music website featuring CC licensed remixes and samples which are free to download.

FMA icon   Free Music Archive offers high-quality and downloadable CC licensed music searchable via genre.

Freesound icon   Freesound is a collaborative database of downloadable audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps released under CC licenses which are searchable by keywords and custom browsing.

Opsound icon   Opsound is an online community which shares music under CC licenses searchable by tags, genres and artists.

Audionautix icon   Audionautix offers CC licensed music searchable by genres, mood and tempo.

CC Music Communities icon  CC Music Communities lists music web communities which use CC licences, many of which are listed below:

  • Bandcamp
  • Indaba
  • Tribe of noise
  • Airborne
  • Restorm

Where to Find CC Licensed Videos

The following are good sources of videos:

YouTube icon  YouTube has CC licensed videos which can be found by typing in your search term followed by a comma and then “creativecommons” which returns CC licensed videos.

  Vimeo has a dedicated page which allows you to search CC licensed videos within its elements such as Attribution and Share Alike.

   Internet Archive has a collection of old videos, movies and texts which are openly licensed.

TED icon   TED is a popular site which openly licences its videos in the form of short, powerful talks covering a magnitude of ideas in more than 100 languages.

Al Jazeera icon   Al Jazeera has a repository of openly licensed broadcast footage covering global news.

Academic Earth icon   Academic Earth has a repository of over 1500 video lectures from the word’s top universities searchable by subject, university and degree level.

Where to find other CC licensed material

As the availability of open resources increases, it leads also to an increase in the availability of formats which are openly licensed. Audiobooks is one increasingly popular example; the following website is a good source of open audiobooks:

LibriVox icon   LibriVox offers public domain audiobooks searchable by author, title, subject or language.