You may have already discovered websites that provide access to resources, some of which are open, but you want a way to filter out the proprietary resources and leave only those resources that are free-to-use OER.

Some sites, like Wikipedia, offer everything under one Creative Commons licence. In Wikipedia’s case, all text is licensed under a CC BY SA licence. Open ClipArt and ClipSafari offers everything under a CC Zero licence, which is basically Public Domain and allows users to take and use the artwork as they need.

Many resource-sharing websites provide the opportunity to filter search results according to various CC licences, such as Flickr (photographs), YouTube (video) and SlideShare (presentations) and Google Advanced Search (web resources both text and images).

The following video provides some guidance about how these filters work. Be aware that, on sites such as these, you need to check the licence conditions to reuse the resource, even though the resource may appear to be freely available.

Using Creative Commons Filters on Popular Platforms (5.56 min)


  1. Can you decipher the terminology these filters often use? For example, which Creative Commons licences are assumed under the following descriptions drawn from Google Advanced Search usage rights filter?
  • Free to use or share
  • Free to use or share, even commercially
  • Free to use, share or modify
  • Free to use, share or modify even commercially