Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Copyright Awareness Part 2: About Free Content

Public Domain:  Public domain works are not restricted by copyright and do not require permission to use. Public domain status allows the user unrestricted access and unlimited creativity.

The three main categories of public domain works are:
  1. Works that automatically enter the public domain upon creation, because they are not copyrightable:
    • Titles, names, short phrases and slogans, familiar symbols, numbers
    • Ideas and facts (e.g., the date of the Gettysburg Address)
    • Processes and systems (e.g., gardening)
    • Most Government works and documents (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, etc.)
  2. Works that have been assigned to the public domain by their creators
  3. Works that have entered the public domain because the copyright on them has expired
Note: Use of some works, such as ideas and symbols, may be restricted by other laws, such as patent, trademark, or trade secret.


Creative Commons:    A nonprofit organization which provides a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use creative works.

  • Materials found on the internet that have a Creative Commons License have less restrictive permissions.
  • There are different levels of Creative Commons licensing    (See “Terms of Use” at the bottom of the webpage )
  • Watch this 3 minute animated video “Wanna Work Together?” to learn more about Creative Commons

Free Images: Images are often needed for PowerPoint presentations, flyers, newsletters and other forms of communication or education.  

Attribution:  Providing credit to the author of a work and the source of the information.  

  • All works referenced, used, copied or adapted (with or without permission) must have an attribution or a citation
  • Attribution does not take the place of permission
  • Used with permission” in a citation means that the author of the document you are reading has obtained permission.  To use the content you will also need to obtain permission. 
  • There are several formats for attribution.  Contact your Librarians for assistance if needed. 
Want to learn more now?  Visit the Copyright LibGuide.

Remember, your Librarians, Michele Matucheski and Kellee Selden are available to help you with copyright questions as well as other reference and research needs.  

No comments:

Post a Comment