Skip to main content

Creative Commons Search Engine gets a new face, welcome to Openverse by WordPress

Always wondered where to find non-copyright or freely available images, videos, audio, etc. for your website, blog, and e-store? WordPress has finally heard us, and is offering a unique search engine – Openverse.

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization, established as a hub for people to share their ideas, knowledge, and creations. They do not have to worry about dealing with infringing copyright laws. Openverse takes it a step ahead, providing all of these creations on WordPress!

Creative Commons provides a way for creators to share their ideas, creations, knowledge, etc. How does it help? As copyright patents or work goes public, it gets rigorous tweaks and experiments, leading to innovation and revolution. 

There are many other platforms in line to take the CC search engine’s throne by providing a fluid and seamless experience. Also, there were talks of shutting down CC search. In this perilous time, WordPress came along to acquire and revive the OG – CC search engine.

“The WordPress community has long advocated for a repository with GPL-compatible images, and it’s time to listen to that need. CC Search, a CC0 (Creative Commons Zero) image search, is joining the WordPress project with over 500 million openly licenced and public domain images discoverable from over 50 sources; audio and video soon to come. “

Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, and CEO of Automattic 

The Openverse project

Creative Commons Search migrated into WordPress in 2021, as it was facing a tough time staying afloat. They had to match other providers providing free open source images, videos, etc. They wish to become a trusted place for the community to share, create, discover, use, and reuse open-licensed media.

Openverse is the successor to CC Search, launched by Creative Commons in 2019. Its name takes cues from the gamut of two words: “Open” and “Universe.”

Openverse has 600 million+ CC licensed, public domain images, and audio files that are available at no cost at all! It goes a step beyond simple search to aggregate results across multiple public repositories into a single catalog. It also facilitates reuse through features like machine-generated tags and one-click attribution.

All photos in the WordPress Photo Directory are licensed with CC0 public domain tool. Openverse is an open-source search index built on GitHub, whose aim is to index and collect all Creative Commons licensed, open licensed, and public works. 

What about the new features?

  • An Interface that Pulls
    Openverse gets a new brand image and extensive UI changes for a seamless experience. It makes search easier, enabling you to fetch best results, with added features like filters and categories! fetching you the best results.
  • Available in a Language You Understand
    Openverse is available in 12 languages, with partial translations available in other languages. The community is devoted to getting more languages on board.
  • Growing Support
    Openverse also includes podcasts, music samples, and other audio files from FreeSound, Wikimedia Commons, and Jamendo. So, you get a whole fleet of options to choose from.
  • A Photo Directory
    The WordPress Photo Directory is an all-new source for curated, high-quality photographs. You can use the directory, and also contribute to Openverse! Because without it, you’d need to use Flickr or other sources to submit your work. (which is a hassle in itself!)

What lies in the future of Openverse?

The Openverse team is continuously striving to upgrade and evolve Openverse. Apart from the WordPress Photo Directory, another source called StockSnap has been added to provide high-quality photographs. Photo libraries like EDUimages and Images of Empowerment are also available from Meta Search.

Currently, Openverse only provides search results for images, with audio and video provided through Meta Search. In the coming months, additional media types are coming with open text and audio. This allows the Openverse team to take a step by step approach to achieve the ultimate goal: “To provide access to all 1.4 billion CC-licensed and public domain works on the web.”

The Openverse project is a part of the WordPress community now and is welcoming contributions from all of us. We have to work together to make it the best openly licensed media search engine on the internet. For more information on how you can contribute, read “Contribute to WordPress.”

Never miss a deet. Sign up today.

Get all the latest news and exclusive WordPress content straight to your email inbox!