For as easy as it is to right-click and save, using imagery in your content marketing strategy sure isn’t simple. Now a new Creative Commons search engine hopes to help make your content marketing image search easier.
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Free Images from CC Search
A new “CC Search” tool is out in Beta, with nearly 9.5 million images available so far on the “free” image search engine. These images can be searched for by title, creator, or tags. In an announcement, Creative Commons explained:
The new CC Search harnesses the power of open repositories, allowing users to search across a variety of open content through a single interface. The prototype of this tool focuses on photos as its first media and uses open APIs in order to index the available works.
Of course, it’s been possible to search for Creative Commons (CC) images before now with search tools such as Google Images, Pixabay, and Flickr. However, the new tool aims to bring CC image search under one roof. It also includes Creative Commons-licensed and public domain image repositories such as the New York City Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national art and history museum.
The CC Search tool also adds user features such as user-created lists, which are shareable with other users, and one-click copy/paste. For now, the tool covers only CC images up to 500 pixels across, but the plan seems to be to expand the database to the whole Creative Commons repository eventually:
Our goal is to cover the whole commons, but we wanted to develop something people could test and react to that would be useful at launch. To build our beta, we settled on a goal to represent one percent of the known Commons, or about 10 million works, and we chose a vertical slice of images only, to fully explore a purpose-built interface that represented one type but many providers.
What Exactly Is Creative Commons?
The organization’s announcement notes:
Creative Commons’ goal is a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. That work has taken us beyond the licenses to explore new tools for discovery, reuse, and collaboration.
A US nonprofit founded in the early 2000s, the Creative Commons organization has spent the last 15 years growing a massive repository of digital image, audio, and video works published under “flexible” copyright standards. Creators of more than 1.1 billion such works have adopted a Creative Commons (CC) license for the use, alteration, and distribution of their creative work.
The CC license system is meant to simplify proper creator attribution and approved usage for images by the public. In layman’s terms, this means image creators give away these works to the public for free — to use, build upon, and share the works for free without a fee — as long as the terms of the license for each individual work are followed.
Licensing terms applied to CC licensed works include commercial and noncommercial use designations, as well as variable designations for allowing or disallowing derivative works, the requirement to attribute the owner of the work, and “share alike,” meaning derivative works must carry the same usage license as the original creator designated.
Creative Commons and Content Marketing Strategy
Effective content marketing strategy often requires a high quality and high volume of content. When photographers and graphic artists charge for their imagery, whether via stock image banks or individually, this gets expensive. However, a cavalier attitude towards image copyrights can be even more costly if a copyright owner sues for an unauthorized image swiped from the web. Creative Commons is a good, legal option for small businesses with small marketing budgets.
As most marketers know, strong imagery is crucial for content marketing success. Social media posts get up to 3 times more engagement when they include an image, and about 70 percent of new blog posts use imagery to hook users.
The new CC Search tool looks like it will be a game changer for content marketers and content creators alike. Our love of visual content isn’t going anywhere soon, that’s for sure.