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The Open Video Landscape: 90+ Web Sources You Might Have Missed

Update 2012/01/24 Vimeo adds CC-search functionality. Update 2011/01/10: TED Downloader added.

The web is full of moving images. History has befitted us with brilliant films, television broadcasts and art videos that are becoming increasingly accessible – at an unpredictable pace. With seas of wisdom surrounding us and mountaintops of information to delve in, where do you start your search when you’re in need of material – to teach, to show, to tell, to use? Where do you find video’s to freely (re)distribute? As copyright is being challenged in all domains (see our expanding list on IPR issues), how is online video earmarked (or not) for reuse? Giant steps have been made  this year for the Creative Commons movement, as video giants YouTube and Vimeo give producers the ability to attach CC licenses to the content they upload. But while search giants Google and Yahoo do allow you to search for CC-licensed materials on the web and in image searches, finding CC video is still a bit harder. EUscreen is exploring how archive content can be made accessible broadly, whilst recognising the intellectual property rights of that content. To this end, we’re hosting events such as License to REMIX!, a video remix and IPR workshop, and the 2011 EUscreen conference on ‘Use and Creativity’. Also, we have started to maintain a list of open, freely available and sometimes freely usable video sources for all your remixing, researching and leisurely searches.. Do let us know in the comments what we missed out on – and poke around on the wonderful resources that exist to go and create new, wonderful things.

Open Content + Open Source + Open Data = Open Video?

As all listings of “free” content, we would like to open with a brief note about what “free” means, especially with regard to “openness”. Some makers decided their work should be as open as possible, and use open technologies such as open source production materials for viewing and editing for the creation of their works. Other works are becoming available in the public domain or have been made available under a free-to-share license.  While every work on this list is yours to see, not everything is therefore automatically “open” – or yours to pick up.

Where to find CC video

CCsearch is your diving board into the wondrous world of online CC sources, all of which can be searched separately on their own digital turf – such as SpinXPress GetMedia and the Public Domain video’s on Europeana, the European digital library, museum and archive. Creative Commons moreover regularly spotlights new CC events and users on their website and curate a full list of materials using Creative Commons licenses:

Open video has taken a great flight with the advent of Creative Commons licenses, which has brought a judicial way of showing internet videos and allowing you to tell people how they can or cannot your material. Flickr was of course an early adopter, and offers zillions of user-generated photo and video materias with quick CC access. Flickr Creative Commons videos is an assortment of CC licensed videos and on Flickr The Commons you can find a variety of videos licensed freely by GLAM institutions (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums, that is).

YouTube and Vimeo have recently followed in its footsteps. In the YouTube editor you can easily look for ánd edit on the spot reusable materials to blend in your video. Vimeo shows you the license of each video, but does not (yet?) offer the possibility to perform filtered search and lets you browse videos with Creative Commons licensesWhat Vimeo did recently roll out is its The platform also offers a music store, where editors can look for music to use in their video materials and a beautiful interface was installed to show users exactly what the license and usability is. In the field of music, openness has been in place for a longer time (due to fewer creators it’s often easier to decide on a licensing model) and beautifully curated sites such as the Free Music Archive and CCmixter often dozens of free music sources. For a full list of CC music platforms, see and

Open Video Repositories

  • Al Jazeera’s Creative Commons Repository stems from the broadcast realm, just like EUscreen, but this repository holds broadcast quality footage that Al Jazeera has released specifically under various Creative Commons licenses.
  • Internet Archive’s Community Video Open Source Video’s on the wide and wondrous world of the Internet Archive – where there’s tons more of moving images to discover and explore, a good starting point of which is written about on their blog.
  • Open Images is an open media platform that offers online access to audiovisual archive material to stimulate creative reuse. An initiative from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.
  • Open Video Project The Open Video Project is a shared digital video repository and test collection intended to meet the needs of researchers in a wide variety of areas related to digital video. The Open Video collection currently contains video or metadata for 1865 digitised video segments.
  • The Media Burn Archive is a video archive that holds a collection of over 6,000 independent, non-corporate tapes that reflect cultural, political and social reality as seen by independent producers, from 1969 to the present.
  • Wikimedia Commons is a repository originally intended for for media to use in Wikipedia articles, which is now a source that hosts 4,400 video items under GNU or CC licenses or that are in the public domain.
  • World Digital Library: This digital library, supported by UNESCO, “makes available on the Internet, free of charge and in multilingual format, significant primary materials from countries and cultures around the world.” Its video content, however, is minimal.

Video Footage for Remix and Reuse

  • Creative Commons list of CC-available films
  • Open Footage is a small repository of Creative Commons licensed 3d materials from an Austrian designer.
  • PixnMix Candy Jar: The Candy Jar is a collection of video clips produced mainly by VJs for VJs. The clips are licensed for non-commercial use – you’ll have to read and agree to the licence when you download.
  • Public Videos(alpha) is a large collection of free stock footage. Video clips are released to the public domain using the CC0 waiver.
  • StockFootageForFree is a website dedicated to providing completely free stock footage from around the world that can be downloaded instantly and incorporated into any type of video editing project-personal or commercial. You have to create an account but it’s worth the time.
  • Xiph Test Media: a collection of test sequences and clips for evaluating compression technology. Over at theri Theora Videos list, you can find an overview of video’s encoded with Theora, that are thus open source by nature (the content however, isn’t always, necessarily).
  • XStockvideo holds free HD Stock Video and Footage with a royalty free license granting full use in all types of projects.

Open-Source Films and Projects

Public Domain and Free-to-Share Film Listings

Public Domain Movies

Legal Torrent Distribution sites

Watch Excellent Films for Free

  • Open Film is an revenue sharing site for filmmakers and is set up for discovering, distributing and financing independent films online. Through its various third-party distribution platforms, Openfilm offers independent filmmakers the opportunity to gain exposure and earn revenue for their work.
  • Open Culture has a marvelous list of 420 movies of you to see – don’t forget to scroll down the list of titles to discover another big list of sources to watch films online.
  • NFB: documentaries, animations, alternative dramas and interactive productions on the web. The site also holds trailers, playlists and upcoming online releases. Free for personal use and on a subscription basis for schools and institutions.
  • Movies Found Online
  • Popcornflix: independently owned film library available for free online viewing.
  • SnagFilms: a distribution platform with 2500 independent films to watch for free.

Documentaries Free (and Less Free) to Share

Open Education Video Resources

Open Courseware and OER Video Projects

Online Educational Video Projects (or projects making prominent use of video)

Community projects

  • Engage Media gathers CC-licensed social justice and environmental video’s from the Asia Pacific
  • Isuma TV was launched as an updated social networking platform in April 2009 with over a thousand films in thirty different Indigenous languages free for users.
  • Open Voice Project
  • OurMedia is a media resource for people to upload and share their works that is run by the Internet Archive. Ourmedia’s community of over 150,000 members is seeking to use social media to advocate for the causes that improve people’s lives.
  • an online archive of densely text-annotated video material, primarily footage and not finished films. The entire collection is searchable and viewable online, and is free to download for non- commercial use.

Sources Used for This List: