CC Search

CC Search is a Creative Commons search engine that captures free and legal images, music and text and makes them searchable. CC Search started in 2017 and today includes over 280 million CC licensed works from more than 20 open repositories.

Language English

Launched February 2017
Closed No

Developer Creative Commons

Country of Origin US America

2017 - [...] Creative Commons

Topic Multimedia Search

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
Manually by an editorial team selected sites search engine
Search engine for databases, repositories, portals and other closed (deep web) or open content collections

Used SeEn CC Search

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

CUTHBERTSON, ANTHONY (2/8/17): »Nonprofit group Creative Commons has released a search engine which makes it easy to search for free and legal images, music and text. CC Search is described by its developers as a “front door to the universe of openly licensed content,” allowing creators to share their work to a wider audience and letting publishers discover content more efficiently. “The new CC Search harnesses the power of open repositories, allowing users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface,” Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley said [...]. “This is a significant moment for CC, as we’ve always wanted to be able to do more to help people find and use the commons and make connections with each other as they create new things.” Other search engines, such as Google, have previously allowed users to filter creative commons-licensed images, while Creative Commons has offered a limited search tool that currently has around 60,000 monthly users. The repository for the search engine compiles almost 10 million images from Flickr, the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Rijksmusem, the Dutch national museum. It will continue to be developed in order to add new repositories, media types and features. “CC estimates that there are 1.1 billion works in the Commons, inclusive of both CC-licensed material and the public domain,” said Liza Daly, a software developer that worked on CC Search. “There was much we wanted to do that we’ve deferred for now, or will revisit based on user feedback.”« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality

Daly, Liza (Feb 7, 2017): »CC estimates that there are 1.1 billion works in the Commons, inclusive of both CC-licensed material and the public domain. Of that, half is thought to be images, supplied by artists who have chosen CC licenses for their work and by cultural institutions that have chosen to release public domain materials without restrictions. The remaining 500 million works comprise other creative media such as video and music, as well as, increasingly, CC-licensed research, educational material, and wholly new kinds of works such as 3D modeling data.« Source


Example results page for "sand": Source

References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN): n.a.
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

CUTHBERTSON, ANTHONY (2/8/17): CREATIVE COMMONS LAUNCHES NEW SEARCH ENGINE: The search engine helps publishers find free and legal images easily URL:
Daly, Liza (Feb 7, 2017): CC Search Developer Notes and Reflection URL:
Kevin Murnane (2017): Creative Commons' New Search Engine Makes It Easy To Find Free-To-Use Images URL:
Sarah Perez (2019): Creative Commons launches its search engine out of beta, with over 300M images indexed URL:
Corilee Christou (2019): Creative Commons Launches an Improved Search Function URL:

Created: 2017-02-24