Google now has the ability to search for content published using Creative Commons licenses and material released into the public domain. The Advanced Search page has a new feature called "Usage Rights" for returning results that:
- aren’t filtered by license (the original default including both Copyright and Copyleft material)
- allow some forms of re-use (Creative Commons some rights reserved)
- can be freely modified, adapted or built upon (less-restrictive Creative Commons licenses and public domain works)
The Creative Commons Find page also lets you search CC licensed content using Google and Yahoo! services. Yahoo! launched a Creative Commons Search Portal in March of this year. You can read more about these developments on the Lessig Blog.
Using advanced search operators
Try experimenting with combinations of license phrases, keywords and Google’s advanced search operators to target content, usage rights and domain location etc.
- "This music free to share under a Creative Commons Music"
- "Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike" MB mp3
- "Charlie Chaplin" site:www.archive.org/
Google Tutorials: from the basics to advanced search operations.
Google Blogoscoped has a selection of tips for searching with Google.
Google Guide provides help with using Google.
Google Search Techniques learn to use Google’s advanced query syntax to get results quickly.
View my list of Search Engines for a wide range of research applications and tools.
Digitized Public Domain Material
Google Print lets you search the book collections of major research libraries and books provided by publishers. See Google Blog’s post Preserving Public Domain Books.
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize, archive, and distribute cultural works.
The Online Books Page provides access to books that are freely readable over the Internet.
Wikipedia: Public domain resources lists all types of material including the arts.