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Creative Commons

Creative Commons, is an organization which provides free content license known as a creative commons license that people can apply to their work.

When you license your work with creative commons, you are giving people the permission to use it without having to ask permission, provided they use it in the manner stated in your creative commons license.

The reason people use creative commons licenses is to make it easier for everyone to share and adapt creative work without the concern of copyright infringement.

Creative commons licenses are used for books, websites, blogs, photographs, films, videos, songs and other audio & visual recordings.

And for those that are wondering, unless a website, wiki or blog includes a Creative Commons license, all content on that blog is automatically the copyright of the creator. 

If you plan to use work that has been licensed under creative commons, make sure you read the licence attached to it first and comply with the conditions of use, to avoid unintentionally breaching the author’s copyright.

The table below explains the meanings of the symbols used in creative commons licences:


Where can I find creative commons resources?

It is always a good idea to use trusted, reliable sources. Here are some of my top picks for creative commons resources that can be used for non-commercial, educational purposes:

1) #ELTPics on flickr

A wonderful collection of images submitted by English language teachers via twitter, for English language teachers to use in the ELT classroom. Curated by Victoria Boobyer, Carol GoodeyVicky LorasFiona MauchlineOpens a New Window. and Sandy Millin

2) CAPL Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon

Another useful, authentic collection of photographic images designed for use with English language learners.


An excellent online learning resource in its own right, the text and .mp3 files on this site can be downloaded and distributed for educational, not for profit use, under a creative commons licence.

4) LibriVox               

A nice collection of free, downloadable audio books, read by ordinary people with a wide variety of accents.