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.
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!
This is probably the easiest website to use for photos and it doesn’t require you to create an account to download images. Still, make sure the images have a CC license before you use them.
Another easy website to use, you type the name of the image you want in the search engine. However, not all entries include images.
Open Clip Art Library
This site is great to use for cartoon images.
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. Best if you are looking for something from a specific artist.
It’s easier to browse for songs according to genre on this website. 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. Click on the arrow to download.
Free Downloads from Last.fm
Click on any of the genres listed on the left toolbar to find the song or sound you want to use. The blue icon on the right lets you know that it’s free and enables downloading when you click on it.
This is the UW Bothell Learning Technologies page on multimedia repositories. 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.
This site is great because it 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?
It is important to know the license of the material you want to use. There are various symbols used to determine the license of the material available through Creative Commons. It is also important to state the author (if known) and the website of the image or music. Think of it this way: it’s like citing a source in an academic paper. You want to acknowledge where you received the information.