Category Archives: Creative Commons Sources

Free Music Archive

The Free Music Archive

You can visit the home and search page for the Free Music Archive here:

Its rights and permission statement may be found here:

The Free Music Archive consists of MP3 files submitted by individual musicians who wish to share their materials freely for use by others.  Material on the site is licensed via a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.  Because it relies on member-generated content, the archive offers a wide variety of material in a number of different genres, with varying audio and performance quality.  By offering this material through a “share alike” license, any new material created that uses material from the Free Music Archive must also be given a share-alike license and be open to the same type of creative reuse.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Its home page/website can be found here:

You can search its image collection here:

Its rights and usage statement can be found here:

Creative Commons is the mother of all open-access websites, containing a wealth of digital material that purports to be copyright free.  However, its licenses vary in terms of usage, including images that are restricted to non-commercial use and “share-and-share-alike” licenses (that dictate that any new material created using Creative Commons imagery must be shared under the same license terms) being two of the most common.  Also, many authors don’t realize that images posted on Creative Common tend to be low resolution, so can be used on webpages and blogs but not in print publications that require better quality imagery.  Creative Commons is both a repository of open-access material and a set of legal guidelines or licenses that individuals may apply to their work if they wish to make it available to the public.

The Prelinger Archives

The Prelinger Archives website can be accessed here:

Its rights and permissions statement may be found here:

The Prelinger Archives is a collection of films, many of which are in the public domain, from many different sources, including a rich collection of US government films, educational television, home and amateur movies, and libraries and archives.  Founded in 1983, it has been a part of the Library of Congress’ Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division since 2002.  The Prelinger Archives generally offers its footage through a Creative Commons-Public Domain license, although those requiring higher quality footage would need to work with its licensing agent, Getty Images.  Additionally, each individual item is tagged with licensing information, giving its Creative Commons license and any limitations on use.