How to Google search for Creative Commons licensed resources
Did you know that when you do a Google Search, you can filter your results to only find images, videos, or text that you have permission to use?
To do this, go to the Google Image search https://www.google.co.uk/imghp and type in a search term and hit enter. You can then filter and sort your results by clicking on the ‘Tools’ button just below the search bar.
Clicking on the ‘Tools’ button will bring up an additional tool bar below the search bar. In this tool bar you can filter for item size, colour, type, time, usage rights, or more tools.
Click on ‘Usage rights’. This will provide a drop down menu with the following options:
- Not filtered by license
- Labeled for reuse with modification
- Labeled for reuse
- Laveled for concommercial reuse with modification
- Labeled for non-commercial reuse
When one of the ‘Usage rights’ options is selected, Google Images will filter the search results to only show images it has categorised under that level of usage.
It’s recommended to always click through to the page where the image has come from in order to verify its licence and any further information that might be useful.
Note: Before reusing content, check the licence details on the source page and check the exact terms of reuse. For example, the licence might require that you give credit to the image creator when you use the image or have additional requests that Google is unable to pick up in a general search.
The information on this page is also available as a PDF: How to Google search for Creative Commons licensed resources (PDF 336kb)