Sales Pitch For The Commons

My Explanation

After the internet was well-established, a group of people decided that traditional copyright didn’t make much sense for people who wanted their creative work to be shared. Under copyright, those people would technically have to have a contract established with each person who wanted to copy their material, and that could get really tiresome. So they came up with some new types of licenses that were easy to understand, but legally sound. Now anyone who wants to share their creation can go to and add whichever license they want to their work, then post it and let people have access at whatever level they choose.

The Licenses

Finding Shared Material

I used to think it was difficult to find good Creative Commons material. The best method available was to go to and plug in some key words and maybe add a couple of filters to narrow the results, but I invariably found I was getting what I felt was sub-par material to work with. Now, however, things have changed. Not only is there MUCH MORE work with these licenses online than there was 10 years ago, but search engines have improved so that they can actually read the license attributed to the creative work and make it much easier to find good material.

Try this:

Hold ‘Command’ and click on the links below (opens a new tab). Then follow the instructions to do a search for each of the three types of media that have a ‘free to use’ license and download them to your computer.

Another excellent site that has been collecting a lot of free-to-use media is the Commons area of, so that might be worth poking around too, when you have time.

Creative Commons License
Student Guide to Copyright by Paul Meritt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.