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Locating Copyright Friendly Resources on the Web

Regular copyright requires that you get permission to use images or videos in works that you are going to publish to the web.
For Creative Commons copyright, the creator may have already given you that permission so you can use the materials as part of your own work and then share it on the web without worrying about breaking the rules.

Introduction to Creative Commons

Here's the good news: the Internet has made it much easier to access public domain materials and a new trend in copyright called Creative Commons makes it possible for educators to ignore all of the above and use materials for free, without permission, for all sorts of multimedia projects. The Creative Commons movement allows copyright owners to modify their rights in order to allow others to use their work in their own creations. This short video from Creative Commons explains what it is all about:

The Creative Commons website is the place to start to learn more about these new kinds of licenses. It also has a search engine that allows users to find Creative Commons licensed materials.

Virtual Tour: Other Places to Find Copyright-Friendly Materials

Soundzabound: Royalty Free Music

Mutopia Project

Wikimedia Commons

From the same people who brought us Wikipedia, there is the Wikimedia Commons, a collection of audio, video and image files that are often available for use without permission under different kinds of licenses. Some of the materials are in the public domain, too.

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Internet Archive

The Internet Archive is a vast clearinghouse for public domain and other copyright-friendly licenses. You can find lots of movies, music, and images. Here are a few of my favorite starting places at the Archive. WARNING: There's a lot here. Be prepared to spend some time exploring at least during your first few visits. I've also found the general search to be productive if I'm in a hurry.
  • Browse the Open Source Audio section for lots of different kinds of music including nature sounds and other sound effects. Most are Creative Commons licensed.
  • Ephemeral films are nonfiction educational, industrial or promotional movies. I like to browse this collection by keyword.
  • The Education section includes lectures, links to open education archives, and much, much more.

Open Education Resources Commons

The OER Commons--Open Educational Resources--bills itself as a worldwide learning network and is part of a movement

Check specific organization's websites for their copyright policy: