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Creative Commons: Discover

Creative Commons licenses and resources for creating, sharing, and discovering content.

Citing Creative Commons

Creative Commons licensed works (other than CC0 licensed works) must be cited. Ideally, a citation, also known as an attribution, should include the title, author, source, and license of the work.

In the following example, the album Ghosts I is linked to its source playlist on Spotify and the name of the band, Nine Inch Nails, links to their website. The license links to its description on the Creative Commons website.

Ghosts I by Nine Inch Nails is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA.

Creative Commons also provides icons which link to their descriptions. After following the steps to choose a license provided at the Creative Commons Share your work page, you will find the code for embedding an icon which will look similar to the example below.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


For more information on citing Creative Commons works, visit the Creative Commons website.


The following are licensed under Creative Commons.



  • Life Wasted - music video from Pearl Jam
  • Ghosts I-IV - album by Nine Inch Nails
  • Castle Crashers - Soundtrack to the video game
  • Cards Against Humanity - card game

Searching Creative Commons

Creative Commons offers a search tool to find media which can be used under a CC license. This tool links to search services that provide options for finding works that you are able to use.

Advanced options in Google Search allow you to filter results by "usage rights." This means that you can use a Google search to find media works or text that the creator has given permission to use.

Wikimedia Commons is a free-content website which sorts media works into the categories of "Images," "Sounds," and Videos. You can search for media that you have permission to use and upload your own works to share with others.


Flickr is a photo sharing community. While not all images posted will be available for use, Flickr offers a filter which allows for sorting images based on the type of license. For example, you can search all Creative Commons images, or all images which allow modifications, etc.

PIxabay offers images which can be copied, remixed, and distributed without the necessity of obtaining permission or citing the original photographer. Images are uploaded by the user community.


ccMixter is a webpage musicians use to share original music. Voice tracks, instrument tracks, and complete songs are uploaded so that anyone may borrow and remix them into new compositions. Songs are licensed using Creative Commons and linked to information on how give credit to the creators.

The Free Music Archive is a database of MP3s which have been made available for use. It is a legal way to share and use hip hop, blues, jazz, classical and many other genres of music.

SoundCloud offers both streaming music and downloads. Music that may be used under different Creative Commons licenses can be found by typing "Creative Commons" into the SoundCloud search bar.


Make an account on Freesound to download free sound effects uploaded by community users. Sounds are licensed with Creative Commons so be sure to credit appropriately.


Vimeo allows you to search for videos which have different Creative Commons licenses. You can choose to browse through videos under different categories of licenses such as CC BY, CC BY-NC-ND, etc.

YouTube also offers an option to filter videos by Creative Commons. To find these videos first enter a search term into the box, then click on "Filter" at the right of the screen. The option to filter videos by Creative Commons can be found under the "Features" heading.

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