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How to Find Creative Commons Licensed Material on Media Sharing Sites

Submitted by on January 25, 2013 – 4:41 pmNo Comment
This is the second of a three-part series on finding OER. Read the first part How to Conduct a Successful OER Search with Google; Read the third part Wiley & Green Share the Latest in OER and Creative Commons.

Massive user demand is driving media aggregators like YouTube, Flickr, and iTunesU to make it easy for you to discover their Creative Commons-licensed content. Meanwhile, the supply of content on these sites that you can now reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute is rapidly accelerating, making it worthwhile for you to learn how to access it all. This week’s short video clip from our webinar, “Learning Open Educational Resources,” features Dr. Cable Green, Director of Global Learning at Creative Commons (CC).  Dr. Green talks about how platform adoptions for media resource sites and learning management systems allow creators to easily license their content, and users to quickly find it. He also introduces us to the streamlined Creative Commons OER search tool (shown below) for locating OER on thirteen different media sharing sites, all from one convenient page. The clip provides a review of the legal rights of OER and introduces the three layers of licenses, which tell you at a glance the legal terms and conditions for using the OER you find:

Media Sharing Sites with the Creative Commons Search Filter

Check out the media sharing sites below that offer a Creative Commons search filter. This filter allows you to access OER more easily, and gives you confidence that your search results contain CC-licensed content only. These sites delineate the various levels of the Creative Commons license so you can clearly understand how to revise, remix, and/or reuse the media you find. 1. Creative Commons

Display of media sharing sites with the Creative Commons search filter

Use this new Creative Commons tool to search 13 different sites including YouTube, Flickr, Pixabay, and Google Images. You can filter your searches by “use for commercial purposes” and/or “modify, adapt, or build upon.”

  2. Flickr

Creative Commons serach filter and license descriptions on Flickr

Flickr contains over 175 million Creative Commons-licensed photos. Your findings will be categorized by the types of licenses that apply to each. Flickr also keeps track of how much content it offers for each license type.

    3. Vimeo

Creative Commons search filter on Vimeo

Vimeo offers over 2 million CC-licensed videos. Just like on Flickr, your search results will be categorized by the license type.

    4. YouTube

Creative Commons search filter on YouTube

As of July, 2012, there were 4 million CC-licensed videos on YouTube. To find one, enter a search term, then select the Creative Commons license type in the drop-down menu. Or search the CC page, which shows the most viewed and the most reused licensed videos.

  Come back next week for the third and final post in this series–we’ll show you what OER experts Cable Green and David Wiley say are the newest and most note-worthy initiatives in the OER landscape. It might inspire you to investigate what possible OER efforts your university could participate in or, better yet, create from the ground up.

Share Your Experiences with Us

Now that you’ve learned how to do a general search for OER using Google Advanced Search, and a specific media-type OER search, please tell us what else you’d like to learn about finding and using Creative Commons-licensed content in your courses.   Sarah LindenBy Sarah Linden Manager, Academic Quality and Communities


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