HomeInternetGoogleGoogle: Search for Creative Commons License and License-Free Information

Google: Search for Creative Commons License and License-Free Information

Google has recently added the ability to search for copyright-free, license-free information. This tutorial explains how you can take advantage of this feature.


Looking through the results returned, I am not sure how Google decides what information has a license and what does not. Information under the Creative Common License is included in this search.

How to Search for License-Free or Creative Common License Material:

    1. Go to google advanced search
    2. Input your search text in the Find Results box.
    3. Under Usage Rights select:
    can be freely modified, adapted, or built upon
    4. Hit the Google Search button.

Here is a license-free search for XP.

At the top of the search page, you can easily see the option to search for license material or not:
Search only pages that can be freely modified, adapted or built upon.

Examing the URL, you can see the new search options as follows:

    http://www.google.com/search?as_q=xp&as_rights=%28cc_publicdomain%7Ccc_attribute%29.-%28cc_noncommercial%7Ccc_nonderived%7Ccc_sharealike%29
    cc_publicdomain
    cc_attribute
    cc_noncommerical
    cc_nonderived
    cc_sharealike

It will be interesting to see how Google makes these determinations. If you try to isolate these options, Google gives a server error.

If you can find any hacks based on this search, please post them in the comments below.

David Kirk
David Kirk
David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
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