CC Search

From Creative Commons
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Jump to: navigation, search will help you find photos, music, text, books, educational material, and more that is free to share or build upon utilizing Creative Commons enabled search services at Google and Flickr. You can also access this tool via the Firefox web browser. Find out more about Firefox and CC Search.

Why is this important?

Copyright applies fully and automatically to any work -- a photograph, a song, a web page, an article, pretty much any form of expression -- the moment it is created. This means that if you want to copy and re-use a creative work you find online, you usually have to ask the author's permission.

This "all rights reserved" protection is a good thing for many authors and artists. But what about those who want you to use their work freely without permission -- but on certain conditions?

This search service helps you quickly find those authors and the work they have marked as free to use with only "some rights reserved." If you respect the rights they have reserved (which will be clearly marked, as you'll see) then you can use the work without having to contact them and ask. In some cases, you may even find work in the public domain -- that is, free for any use with "no rights reserved."


Looking for a picture of a giraffe for a school report? Type "giraffe," choose the Flickr tab, and see what you find.

Interested in music free to download and put in a movie? Type the kind of music you're looking for, choose the Google or Yahoo! tabs, and browse results from across the web.

Try it out. Look for books, weblogs, audio recordings, and more.

You can also browse specific repositories of Creative Commons licensed content by clicking on Content Directories.

Does CC Search only return CC-licensed content? offers convenient access to search services provided by other independent organizations. Selecting different search options within the result list -- particularly Image search for Google and Yahoo -- may lead to the inclusion of results which are not Creative Commons licensed.

You should always verify that the work you are re-using has a Creative Commmons license attached to it.

What is Creative Commons?

We're a nonprofit, so this search tool is free to use. Learn more about us at

What's next for the CC Search tool?


Adding your search engine to CC Search

  • CC Search integration concerning adding your search engine to the CC Search interface. Note that being added to the interface is entirely at the discretion of Creative Commons. Fulfilling technical requirements is no guarantee of usefulness, nor of being added to the interface.
  • CC OpenSearch -- OpenSearch is an entirely different metasearch technology facilitating search aggregation and alternative search interfaces via search result feeds.

CC Search
Have an idea about this page? Want to help build the CC ecosystem? Check out the challenges related to CC Search, or add one of your own below.
Open Challenges
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Completed Challenges
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