Hack 96: Find Reusable Media Online


Level Easy

难易程序 简单

Platform Web

实现平台 网络

Cost Free

是否免费 是

You’re designing a new brochure, PowerPoint presentation, website, or flyer, and you need the right image to use with it fast. Put your hands in the air and step away from the cheesy clip art. Thanks to organizations such as Creative Commons, licenses such as the GNU Free Documentation License, and the public domain, there are tons of photos, songs, movies, and documents freely available for you to download and republish without fear of the copyright police.

当你在设计一个小手册或者准备演讲用的PPT的时候,你很有可能需要去找到合适的图片或者视频。不要再去用系统自带的那些丑陋的图片了,多亏有了Creative Commons和GNU这样的公司,让我们可以任意的去使用漂亮的图片了(在国外有版权的问题,国内没有,用什么搜索一搜就好了)。

What’s Reusable Media?


Traditionally photographers, artists, writers, musicians, and other creative copyright their work to restrict usage by others — and charge fees or royalties to do so. But in recent years, a new “free culture” movement arose on the Web, advocating the benefits of proactively permitting others to republish creative work. A new set of licenses that give explicit permission to reuse and republish media (versus restrict it) was born.


NOTE Lawrence Lessing’s Creative Commons–licensed book, Free Culture, inspired and fully explores the free-culture movement.

注意 是Creative Commons这个公司掀起了这场免费运动。

If you’re looking for an image to include in your published work — whether it’s a movie, brochure, or e-book — you can’t use copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder. But media licensed for reuse (or that’s in the public domain) is now widely available online — allowed for use in your own projects. This hack covers a few places you can find it.


Six Reusable-Media Search Engines and Sources


The following are some of the best reusable-media search engines and sources online:


Creative Commons (CC) search interface (

What you’ll find: Video, music, images, and documents



Creative Commons’ tabbed search interface looks up CC-licensed photos from Flickr and Google Image Search, any file type on Google, audio on Amend Music Search, videos on Blip.TV, and mixed media on Wikimedia Commons and Spin press in one convenient place. (Before you go republish Creative Commons–licensed work, be sure to check exactly which CC license that perfect photo carries — whether it can be modified, used for commercial purposes, or should include attribution.)

Wikimedia (

What you’ll find: Video, music, images, and documents

User-edited Wikimedia Commons contains more than 700,000 pieces of freely available, modifiable (even for commercial purposes) media that’s categorized and tagged by users. Need a photo of the moon for your blog? Type Category: Moon into the Wikimedia search box.

Sound Cloud ( and CCMixter (

What you’ll find: Music

Find podcast able; remix able, put-your-iMovie-to-it music at the Sound Cloud and CCMixter listings of Creative Commons–licensed songs.

EveryStockPhoto (

What you’ll find: Images

There are dozens of stock photo sites out there, but EveryStockPhoto (ESP) aggregates photos licensed for reuse from several sources.

Google (

What you’ll find: Images, documents

Although Google has an Advanced Search option to find reusable content (as does Yahoo!), some advanced Google search techniques work as well. For instance, to find Creative Commons–licensed Excel documents with the words time map in them, try

filetype:xls time map “this work is licensed under a Creative Commons”

Similarly, to find PDFs licensed under the GNU FDL, try

filetype:pdf “published under the GNU Free Documentation License”

See Hack 90, “Google Like a Pro,” for more on advanced search operators.

Public Domain Torrents (

What you’ll find: Video

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