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, 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 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.
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.
Creativity103 is a library of free abstract backgrounds, textures and design ideas.
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 offers over 2.9 million images depicting life on Earth.
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”.
LibreStock is a search tool that explores a range of openly licensed image libraries.
Open Clip Art Library offers over 67,000 public domain images also allowing for requests.
Pexels offers photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. 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 offers over 65,000 CC licensed resources in picture, video and audio formats.
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.
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.
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 is a social sound platform with many tracks licensed under CC and searchable as such.
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 is a community music website featuring CC licensed remixes and samples which are free to download.
Free Music Archive offers high-quality and downloadable CC licensed music searchable via genre.
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 is an online community which shares music under CC licenses searchable by tags, genres and artists.
Audionautix offers CC licensed music searchable by genres, mood and tempo.
CC Music Communities lists music web communities which use CC licences, many of which are listed below:
- Tribe of noise
Where to Find CC Licensed Videos
The following are good sources of videos:
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 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.
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: