7 Ways To Find Creative Commons Video

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Still from ‘Quicksand,’ 1950, directed by Irving Pichel, starring Mickey Rooney, via The Internet Archive. This film is in the public domain.

While many people know about Creative Commons and public domain images, fewer people know about the vast range of high quality Creative Commons videos, available to be shared, remixed and reused. Here are some of the best ways to find clips or movies that are either licensed under Creative Commons or in the public domain.


Of course, no video list would go far without including Youtube. Check out Youtube’s own Creative Commons corner; otherwise, add a Creative Commons filter to your search.


Vimeo has over two million openly licensed videos. Happily, Vimeo also sort their videos according to the terms of the Creative Commons licence, which makes it easy for you to know exactly what kinds of permissions you’ve been given. The great thing about Vimeo is that they also make it easy for you to download your chosen video, in HD, SD and mobile quality. While you’re there, you can also check out (and download) everyone’s favourite video, CC Kiwi!

Spin Xpress

Spin Xpress pulls Creative Commons licensed media from a variety of different websites, including Blip.tv, with simple search filters.

The Internet Archive

If you’re looking for videos in the public domain, The Internet Archive is the place to go. While most people know about the WayBack Machine, which lets you check out earlier versions of the web, the most interesting part of The Internet Archive is its vast collection of media. Want to check out bizarre drive-in movie ads? What about old Hollywood movies that have since passed into the public domain? What about films made by the US Government (including films produced by the CIA, like the ‘Science of Spying,’ from 1965)? There are over a million such videos, many are which are available to share, remix and reuse.

Films About Creative Commons

The Creative Commons community has put together dozens of short films explaining the Creative Commons licences, some of which are available on the Creative Commons site. While we tend to show off our own CC Kiwi, there are many more Creative Commons videos from around the world, including this ‘Meet Creative Commons‘ from our friends at Creative Commons Qatar:

Creative Commons Wiki

The Creative Commons community has put together this list of films produced under a Creative Commons licence, including the Academy Award winning documentary A Story of Healing.


If you’re looking for New Zealand material, your best bet is to check out DigitalNZ. Open the search filter and click ‘video’ and select the usage rights you require.

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