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Copyright and Intellectual Property

This guide will direct you to resources explaining principles of U.S. copyright law and how it functions in practice in academic institutions.

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a "nonprofit organization that aims to increase sharing and improve collaboration" through provision of simple licensing options. Creative Commons provides creators with licensing to encourage the sharing and distribution of their work. Although the author's work remains copyrighted, a Creative Commons license allows others to copy, share and reuse the work with limited or no restrictions.

Learn more about Creative Commons on their website.

Identifying Works with Creative Commons Licenses

There are two ways to identify if a work has a Creative Commons license:

  1. In the permissions statement, look for "Licensed under http://creativecommons.org/licenses" or "Some rights reserved."
  2. On the document, look for these symbols:

description of creative commons symbols

Additional Creative Commons Resources

Creative Commons Search

Creative Commons Search allows you to search for images and other content that has a creative commons license. Note that Creative Commons claims no control over the results that are returned and suggests users always verify that the work is actually under a CC license by following the link.

Flickr: Creative Commons Search

Many Flickr users have chosen to offer their work under a Creative Commons license, and you can browse or search through content under each type of license.