What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that promotes the global sharing of images, music, and other creative tools for free. Artists and musicians submit their work to Creative Commons for others’ use on media-related projects.
The following Creative Commons websites have free music, pictures, and videos available for school and personal projects.
Note: when you use creative commons material from the web please remember to give the original authors credit by putting their names in your citation page. This isn’t just a friendly thing to do - it is often a requirement!
Flickr Creative Commons
This is probably the easiest website to use for photos and it doesn’t require account creation to download images. Still, make sure the images have a CC license before you use them.
Similar to Flickr, this site looks beyond basic search parameters to include relevant and useful CC images in your search results.
Open Clip Art Library
This site is great to use for clip art images.
Provides direct downloads of Flickr CC content.
Pics 4 Learning
This site is designed for educational purposes and features a range of safe images ready for use in a variety of projects.
Free Live Music from the Internet Archive
Free recordings of live concerts available for non-commercial use. Allows you to search or browse by artist, most recent, etc.
Free Music Archive
Select the one that sounds appropriate for the mood or tone you want to create in your media project, e.g. blues, electronic, hip-hop, etc. Note: Click on the arrows to download.
Free Downloads from Last.fm
Note: The blue icon on the right lets you know that it’s free and enables downloading when you click on it.
This site has a large database of free music.
This site allows artists to upload their music and is available for anyone to download. In addition, different users can download a track, edit it, and re-upload to the site to create one collaborative master track for other users to download.
Download, sample, or remix any of the pieces on the site.
When searching for music, make sure to modify search under “License to listen to” and select “To use commercially.”
Vimeo Creative Commons Video
Ourmedia Creative Commons
Here you will find a list of image, audio, and video resources. Keep in mind that the sites on this list all have different licensing terms, so be sure to check after you find the multimedia object you wish to use.
Here's a list provided by UW libraries of places to find open access images. These images are freely available for use, and can be used in projects both inside and outside of the classroom.
This site is rather difficult to navigate if you don’t know the artists listed, as there is no search engine for genre. Some of the music tracks ask you not to rehost them. For example, if you were to make certain MP3 files from this website available on your blog for others to download, you could potentially face copyright infringement.
Has three engines that allow you to search by feel, genre, and keyword. This can be particularly helpful if you are making a digital video or short film. For example, if you are making a horror film, you can simply search “horror” in the keyword engine and you will find rather dark, suspenseful pieces recorded on piano.
Use these websites as resources for your media projects. However, please keep in mind that when you are searching for music or images on these sites, not all tracks and photographs are available royalty-free.
What do the Creative Commons’ symbols mean?
Have creative commons media links you would like to share with your fellow students? You can submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Website last updated - 7-15-2013