Industry Analyst & Strategist

WordPress Announces Openverse Project

This is both a pleasant surprise and awesome show of how a major open source project can extend the benefits of open source in new directions.

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Let’s go in a bit of chronological order. First we have Matt Mullenweg’s announcement on April 27, CC Search to join “I am a long-time supporter of Creative Commons and their influential work on open content licenses, and when we heard they were considering shutting down their CC Search engine we immediately starting exploring ways we could keep it going. I am eager to give a new home to their open search product on in continued commitment to open source freedoms, and providing this community resource for decades to come. This is an important first step to provide a long-term, sustainable challenger to proprietary libraries like Unsplash.”

It is great news for the tool and I agree that the internet should have an open source license alternative. Unsplash was acquired by Getty at the end of March, and there was some consternation regarding licensing. To date, the Unsplash license is very broad and generous though not what we would necessarily call an open license. It’s important to note that it is critical to support creatives. I’m not in this kind of media space so I don’t know what the pros and cons for photographers are, but I do worry that there could be unforeseen economic issues.

So after Matt’s announcement we get WP Tavern’s take, Creative Commons Search to Relaunch on “Creative Commons search remains one of the few places to find CC0-licensed images that are compatible with the GPL. It will be interesting to see how this news of CC Search finding a new home on will affect Automattic’s relationship with Pexels, another image library with even more restrictive licensing than Unsplash. Access to Pexels was added to in 2018 and is also integrated with Jetpack.”

Openverse? The new title of CC Search was actually announced over at, New WordPress Make Team: “As Matt announced today, (April 27, 2021) we are thrilled to bring the Creative Commons Search product into the WordPress Community. The new name for the product will be Openverse and will eventually live at”

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