What are Creative Commons assets?
Creative Commons (CC) is the official name of the system used as an alternative to copyright, where the author keeps full control of their work. CC lets you legally share, reuse, and alter material created by others. It usually just requires that you give credit to the original author. The stock assets below (i.e. photos/videos/music) are free from copyright restrictions, for use in your projects.
The links below are a range of free stock asset websites.
Royalty-free does not mean “free”
It is important to understand that even royalty-free assets (also known as stock assets), are not “free” – they may require initial payment to the original creator. Royalty-free simply means that once you use the assets, if you make money off them, (e.g including them in a movie you charge people to see or make a podcast you earn money from), you do not need to pay a portion of your profits back to the creator down the track.
There are whole businesses, such as Shutterstock, that are designed around selling royalty-free/stock images to other people for use.
There are a lot of sites that are both royalty-free AND free (listed below), but it is always important to understand the license of each individual asset you use. See underneath the list below for an explanation of Creative Commons licenses.
$ indicates some or all assets require payment.
- Pexels: www.pexels.com
- Pixabay: www.pixabay.com
- PicJumbo: www.picjumbo.com
- 500px: www.500px.com
- FreeImages: www.freeimages.com
- iStock: www.istockphoto.com ($)
- Photodune: www.photodune.net ($)
- Flickr: www.flickr.com (filter results by CC license)
- Purple Planet: www.purple-planet.com
- YouTube: www.youtube.com/audiolibrary
- SoundCloud: www.soundcloud.com (filter results to use/modify commercially)
- AudioNautix: www.audionautix.com
- Audio Jungle: www.audiojungle.net ($)
- Jamendo: www.jamendo.com ($)
- Audio Hero: www.audiohero.com ($)
- Pexels: www.videos.pexels.com
- Videvo: www.videvo.net
- Mazwai: www.mazwai.com
- Vimeo: www.vimeo.com (filter results by CC license)
- Coverr: www.coverr.co
- Cute Stock Footage: www.cutestockfootage.com
- Vidsplay: www.vidsplay.com
- Videezy: www.videezy.com
- Pixabay: www.pixabay.com/videos
- Videohive: www.videohive.net ($)
More information about Creative Commons
To learn more about Creative Commons, visit the Creative Commons Australia (creativecommons.org.au) website for fact sheets, guides, and information on how to properly attribute work to the original authors.
There are six levels of Creative Commons license, and there are standards to properly attribute Creative Commons material you use. It is always important to check which license applies to an individual asset, (e.g. can you edit or alter the original, can it be used for commercial purposes, etc.). Always carefully read the terms and conditions associated with the asset you’d like to use.