Creative Commons

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!

For images:

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.

Open Clip Art Library
This site is great to use for clip art images.

Photo Pin
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.

For music:

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
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.

Download, sample, or remix any of the pieces on the site.



UW Libraries

When searching for music, make sure to modify search under “License to listen to” and select “To use commercially.”

For video:

Vimeo Creative Commons Video Movies

Other sites:
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.
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.
University of Washington research guide on music and video provides free music tracks and video for student and faculty. Note: Music and video on this website may or may not be creative commons so make sure to look at the Terms of Use for each track.

The Public Domain Review:

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?

More information can be found at:

Have creative commons media links you would like to share with your fellow students? You can submit them to

Website last updated – 01-13-2017