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2. Copy Left?

Sick of copyright already? Want to avoid most of the mess and just use stuff? Here are some alternate options.

Creative Commons

cc_glasses.jpgCreative Commons may sound like some weirdo, fringe cult (and this picture seems to support that) but it’s more about people taking control rather than companies. Creative Commons is simply a way for content authors to release their work to the public with many more options than traditional copyright allows. This is a big movement on the Internet right now and lots of great work is licensed this way.

There are a lot of different Creative Commons options. The least restrictive option is the attribution license which simply means in order to use the work you have to say where you got it from. Check out the options you’ve got for publishing your work and for ways you can use Creative Commons work.

Places to find Creative Commons work

Learn more with the various videos at Joyce Valenza's LibGuide on Creative Commons.

Public Domain

Public domain is another good option. Public domain simply means anybody can use this media for anything they’d like. Creative works that are made by U.S. government employees are automatically in the public domain. Work can also end up in the public domain after enough time has passed and the copyright expires.


The picture to the left is by Ansel Adams and was taken for the National Park Service so clearly there’s some surprisingly good stuff in the public domain. Public domain is a great place to find historical media.

Places to find public domain work

Image source “CC” - Franz Patzig CC license , Ansel Adams - Public Domain

Content Source HCPS Copyright

Bibliography Page for the Copyright Site