I create videos, podcasts, and other digital material for delivery via the Web. I want my work to be visually and sonically interesting, but I’m not a professional designer or musician, and I don’t have lots of money to spend on assets from stock photo, video, and music services. My solution is the Creative Commons.
Founded in 2001, the Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables content creators to share their knowledge and creations through free, legal tools. If you want others to be able to use your work only if they credit you with its creation, you can apply a license that states just that. There are licenses that give others the right to change your work and not give you credit, or change your work but state that the new work came from your original. You can disallow use of your work for commercial purposes or even dedicate your work to the public domain. Visit the Creative Commons website to learn about all of these options and others.
So, when I’m looking for background music for a podcast I can go to this page, http://search.creativecommons.org/ and run a search. When I find music I like, I add the music to my podcast and make sure I’m following the rules stated in the license.
The thing I love about the Creative Commons is that it helps make the Internet a place for openness and sharing; a place where everyone can participate. Their vision statement is this: “…nothing less than realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research and education, full participation in culture — to drive a new era of development, growth, and productivity. ”
I encourage you to take advantage of this wonderful resource.
Creative Commons licensed works will have a logo like one of these attached to them: