Creative Commons Part 2: Five Creative Commons Resources

Creative Commons

CMLE Guest Blogger: Carli Spina If you have any questions, let me know in the comments or contact me on Twitter where I’m @CarliSpina.

In my last post, I explained what Creative Commons licenses are. But how can you make use of these licenses and incorporate items that are licensed under them in your library? Perhaps not surprisingly, an array of resources have emerged to make it approachable to use Creative Commons licenses and to aggregate Creative Commons-licensed items. The resources suggested below are not the only ones available on this topic, but hopefully they will help to get you started with a variety of Creative Commons resources.

  1. Wanna Work Together? – This video from the Creative Commons organization offers a quick overview of both copyright and Creative Commons. It is a great resource for introducing the concept of sharing work under a Creative Commons license with students, patrons, or library staff.
  2. Best Practices for Attribution – Attribution is at the core of all six of the Creative Commons licenses, but as anyone who has ever dealt with any citation manual can tell you, properly attributing materials to a creator can be a difficult process. The Creative Commons organization has tried to streamline this process, and to make this element of using CC works even more approachable, they have provided this guide to attribution best practices. Whether you are trying to properly attribute works you have used or are teaching patrons how to include proper attribution, this resource will help by providing clear instructions and detailed examples. If you want more details and examples, check out this handout by Creative Commons Australia.
  3. CC Search – offers a one-stop search option if you are looking for Creative Commons-licensed media. Using their search feature, you can find images, movies, and audio clips by using their guided search to identify the best resources for your exact needs. While it can’t search across multiple platforms and doesn’t include every possible platform that supports Creative Commons licenses, this is a nice starting place for any Creative Commons media search.
  4. Wikimedia Commons – You’re probably familiar with Wikipedia (which you may know is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license), but are you familiar with Wikimedia Commons? This related resource offers over 35 million media files that are either in the public domain or licensed under a Creative Commons license. It is a great resource for finding Creative Commons-licensed images, videos, audio files and more, but beyond this it is also a good resource for individuals and institutions who create Creative Commons-licensed works since it makes it simple to share your work online. Of particular note, Wikimedia Commons offers a monthly photo challenge to encourage photographers to share their work. If your library offers photography classes or has a photography collection, you might even consider promoting the challenge to your community.
  5. Multicolr Search Lab – This tool from TinEye Labs is great for anyone who does design work or just loves colors. It allows you to search 20 million Creative Commons-licensed images by color. You can select up to five colors and all of your selected colors will play a prominent role in the images that are retrieved. You can even add search terms to further refine your results. It is a great option for any project where you need an image to match the look of your design.

Hopefully these resources will make it easier and more fun to work with Creative Commons-licensed materials. If you have any recommendations of resources or places to find CC-licensed items, feel free to share them in the comments!