what is the creative commons?

The creative commons is both a non-profit organization and a licensing system. It is a simple and standardized system that allows creators to easily identify ways others can share and use the creator’s works.

More info about Creative Commons can be found here:

Information about the creative commons and the different forms of creative commons licenses straight from the source.

Media with a Creative Commons (CC) license is typically content designed to be shared, learned from, and built upon. If you need media to incorporate in a digital project, looking for content with a Creative Commons license is a smart place to begin. However, you should always double check the specific CC license on each piece of media you want to access. Make sure you are meeting the parameters set by the licensor or that you feel your use of the source material fits within the boundaries of fair-use.

useful links*

Here are several useful sources for Creative Commons materials and/or materials in the public domain.

You can use this search feature to look for creative commons materials. Everything on Openverse is either in the public domain or available via a creative commons license. Openverse allows you to search specifically for music, image, and video.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, etc. You may find the Prelinger Archives particularly useful. Not everything on this site is creative commons licensed. Make sure you read carefully and identify materials that meet the assignment requirements.

whitehouse.gov (info re. copyright)
Except where noted otherwise, materials on the whitehouse.gov website are not copyrighted and are creative commons licensed. You may find the Video Gallery particularly useful.

Vimeo provides a search feature for Vimeo content available via a range of creative commons licenses. These videos can be downloaded directly from the site.

Freesound offers a collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, etc. released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse.

Jamendo offers music from independent artists. You’ll need to check the “download” link for information about whether the file is/isn’t usable for this project.

Are there other creative commons resources you can recommend? Let me know and I’ll add them!


* Many thanks to Dr. Louisa Stein for putting this list together first and letting me use it here.