Creative Commons’ free photo search engine narrowly avoided its end thanks to WordPress.
CC Search has always operated as an ad-free search engine. It gives the user access to 500 million images that can be used freely under the Creative Commons License. In order to operate, it collected donations from users.
Matt Mullenweg, CEO of WordPress’ parent company, Automattic, heard that CC Search would be shutting down. He decided to save the search engine by giving it hosting space on WordPress.org.
“I am a long-time supporter of Creative Commons and their influential work on open content licenses,” said Mullenweg, “and when we heard they were considering shutting down their CC Search engine we immediately started exploring ways we could keep it going.”
WordPress will now cover the expenses that CC Search previously collected from donors. Additionally, Automattic will hire volunteers who worked on CC Search and sponsor their work.
“I am eager to give a new home to their open search product on WordPress.org in continued commitment to open source freedoms, and providing this community resource for decades to come,” added Mullenweg
Creative Commons has not released an official statement yet. Former CEO Ryan Merkley tweeted about the news, saying, “When I started CC Search, I always hoped it would become part of the infrastructure of the Internet […] I’m so happy to see this happen.”
You can learn more about the acquisition on Mullenweg’s blog.