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The University of Iowa Libraries


Creative Commons: Open Media

An introduction to Creative Commons licensing of copyrighted works.

Finding CC Licensed Work

Fair Use provides protection from copyright infringement for certain types of use, including research, teaching, commentary, parody, and reporting. However, these terms depend on a multitude of factors, many of which may be unclear, and can always be contested in court. This page offers suggested websites to find CC licensed work that is clearly labeled and optimal for reuse in your own projects.

Creative Commons has a search tool specifically for finding CC licensed work across multiple websites: CC Search

Here is a list of other places to find CC-licensed multimedia.

Finding Images

  • Google Image Search - Tip: Do a search, click on the "gear" (right side of the page), select Advanced Search, filter Usage Rights by License.
  • Flickr Commons - A collection of Flickr images with open licenses
  • Wikimedia Commons - A database of freely usable, fully downloadable media files

Finding Videos

  • Vimeo - Tip: Do a search, click on "Show Advanced Filters", choose a license from the drop-down menu)
  • YouTube - Tip: Do a search, click on "Filters", click on "Creative Commons" below "Features")

Finding Audio

  • Freesound - Free audio snippets and samples. Great for podcasts and projects in need of sound effects.
  • SoundCloud - Tip: Do a search, click on "Sounds" from the left sidebar, then filter by license.

Citing Multimedia Sources