Creative Commons

Just because something is online, does not mean it is free to use. Resources such as Google Images and other online image sites are great for finding pictures and the likes, but the mere fact it is online does not mean it is available for everyone to use as their own. Much of the content online is copyright, whether it is stated or not.

There are many resources available online which are able to be used though. Most are released under a ‘Creative Commons‘ License.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a licensing system that allows copyright owners (that is, anyone who produces content), to make their content available for others to use. This video explains further:

It is extremely important that you remember to attribute where your Creative Commons material comes from. This will usually mean providing the name and URL of your resource; ie-

Creative Commons Kiwi Video –

What are the licenses?

Different resources in the Creative Commons have different licenses. It is important to make sure you follow the rules of the license when using an item from the Commons. See this page for more information.

attribution-by noncommercial-nc noderivatives-nd
No Derivative Works
All works must be ‘attributed’, which means you create a bibliography or acknowledge where the work comes from. You may create a link to the work. Some works can only be used for ‘non-commercial’ reasons, which means not making money. When you are creating anything for school it is okay to use ‘NC’ resources. ‘No Derivatives’ means you cannot change the work. You must use it the way you found it. For example, you cannot crop or recolour the image.

Where can I find resources from the Creative Commons?

There is a large collection of material available in the creative commons. Remember to check the license on the material you are using to ensure it is okay to use, and attribute the author where required.

  • *new* Photos for ClassThe Photos for Class site automatically cites images correctly, as well as images being correctly licensed.
  • Pixabay – Another fantastic free photo site. Remember to check the license for images in the public domain.
  • Every Stock Photo – Searches a wide collection of photo sites for free images. Remember to check the attribution license.
  • CompFight - Searches the flickr database. After entering your search term, select ‘Creative Commons’ from the options menu on the left hand side of the results.
  • Creative Commons Search – Use this site to search Google Images (and other sources) for Creative Commons licensed images.
  • OpenClipArt Library – Free clip art
  • Free Tiiu Pics - A collection of free, high quality photo images.
  • Pics4Learning - A list of free images to use in education.
  • Digital NZ – An amazing collection of free to use resources.
  • Wikimedia Commons - Containing many of the images from Wikipedia and the related sites, which have open licenses.
  • Flickr Creative Commons - One of the largest collections of images. To find Creative Commons content, select ‘Advanced Search’ and scroll down the bottom and tick ‘Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content’.
  • Flickr Commons – Older images and photos from across the world.
  • - A photo/image search site. Only the images at the top of this page are free; the second half are from a paid site. Read carefully.
  • TROVE: Australia in Pictures - Photos of towns, places and icons around Australia.




Audio and SFX


For more information about searching in the Creative Commons, check out this article.

Adapted from:

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