Finding Creative Commons Licensed Materials

Appendix description or content:

How to find Creative Commons licensed materials

for Teachers and Students


Digital technologies have revolutionised the way in which content is created and shared in education. Teachers and students alike can communicate, share and modify all kinds of content, from video to images and music, in new and interesting ways. The use of digital forums like websites, wikis and blogs in the classroom is rapidly expanding. With these new opportunities, there come various copyright challenges.


Creative Commons presents a solution to this problem. This copyright licensing scheme opens up a whole swag of content that teachers and students can freely copy, communicate, remix and repurpose. Permission from the copyright owner does not need to be sought as permission has already been granted.


This guide was created to help teachers and curriculum units find CC licensed material. It forms one part of an information pack on CC for the education sector. It is advised that you first read information guide ‘What is Creative Commons?’ at for a simple introduction to CC.

Finding CC materials

Because the CC system includes metadata (machine readable code), CC content can be found a number of different ways. A good place to start is the search portal on the Creative Commons website ( The portal allows users to return very specific results from a number of websites which host CC material, based on the type of use you want to make of the material. For more information, see the guide ‘How to find Creative Commons Material using the Creative Commons Search Portal’ at


You can also search for CC material using Google, Yahoo! and Mozilla Firefox. These search engines offer advanced search options which allow you to customise your search for CC material based on a search term and the type of CC licence the material is available under.


For information on how to use these different search engines to find CC material, see the following information guides at


1.    How to find Creative Commons Material using Google

2.    How to find Creative Commons Material using Yahoo!

3.    How to find Creative Commons Material using Mozilla Firefox


Sources of CC licensed content

If you’re looking for specific types of content, it can sometimes be easier to go directly to a website which hosts the type of CC material you are looking for. The table below outlines some good sources of CC material. For a more detailed list see







Online photo album with over 80 million CC licensed images. CC licensed material can be accessed via the main site or through a dedicated portal.

Images, video

Open Photo

A moderated photo community with over 3000 CC licensed photos in various categories.


Picture Australia

Australian themed images hosted by the National Library of Australia. Some images are CC licensed.



CC sound remix tool and archive. All the music on ccMixter can be remixed.



A good source of sound effects and background noises, all available for reuse.


A video sharing site that includes a lot of CC licensed material.



An Australian-based site which distributes videos about social justice and environmental issues in the Asia Pacific. All videos are CC licensed.



An ABC-run multimedia site that includes lots of CC-licensed user-generated video, music, art and text, as well as increasing amounts of CC material from the ABC’s own archives.

Images, video, music, text