Use Creative Commons Licensing to Find Images, Video, Audio, and Other Content you can use, Share, and Alter.
Want an easy way to search out different kinds of content that users have published with the expressly stated right to re-use, edit, and otherwise share with permission? It's probably easier than you think!
By combining a few advanced search techniques with awareness of Creative Commons licensing, if someone has published the kinds of content you're looking for, you'll probably be able to find it.
How's it Done?
First, you need to know one simple tip about Google Advanced Search (other search engines provide similar tools): how to find content that must contain an exact word or phrase (in it's description, or other text). It's quite easy actually, you just put the word or phrase that you require to be a part of the search results in quotes. For example, if I do a Google Search and include “emergingedtech” in the search (with the quotes), then returned results MUST include the phrase emergingedtech in it. We'll use this technique to help us find what we're looking for.
Next, you need to understand how Creative Commons works. If you're not familiar with Creative Commons, this video provides a good overview (it also mentions some other approaches to searching for CC licensed content).
Another essential element in using Google or other search engines to find CC licensed content is knowing that there are text tags that correspond to each license. If you check out the different licenses you'll see that each has a textual representation, like “CC BY-SA ” for the Attribution-ShareAlike license.
Bringing it all Together
So, let's check out an example of how to use CC license text tags and the exact match search technique to find desired content.
A few weeks ago I wrote an article titled, “5 Ways NOT to Teach Like a Dinosaur“. For the accompanying graphic, I wanted a picture of a dinosaur that I could add a text bubble to.
I entered the following in Google Search: cartoon dinosaur “CC BY” (try it!). Then I clicked on the ‘Images' filter link towards the top of the results screen. I found an image that immediately appealed to me and clicked through to the source to confirm that the image was truly labeled for sharing (it was – the phrase “Content is available under CC-BY-SA” can be found in the lower right corner of the page).
Since is not restricted from editing, I knew I could edit it. I copied it, pasted it into MS Paint and added the text bubble, and viola, I had a great graphic for my article!
CC-BY-SA image source: http://dino.wikia.com/wiki/File:Cartoon_scary_dinosaur.jpg
I had to be sure to provide attribution credit, which I did (I also linked the image to the source as well).
So, there you have it. If you use this technique to search for video, you can use the ‘Video' filter (just like I used the Images link in the above example) to narrow down your search. Of course, you can also try Creative Commons Search (although when I used it to search Google Images for “cartoon dinosaur” it did not find the image I found with my search). You may find it works better for certain specific types of searches, like for music, since they have search buttons for a variety of music sources.
If you use some different techniques to find reusable content, please drop a comment and tell use about it. Thanks!