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Copyright: Copyright Friendly Resources

What is Open Access?

Open Access refers to resources that are freely available to the public. These materials are not the same as works in the public domain or works no longer under copyright protection. Open Access works are protected by copyright law.  The creator maintains the copyright but chose to share them so that others can use the works without seeking permission or paying fees. 


Directory of Open Access Journals online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals. There are currently over 14,000 journals indexed.

Directory of Open Access Books - online directory dedicated to increasing discoverability of Open Access books. Over 20,000 books are indexed.

Open Educational Resources

A subset of open access is Open Educational Resources which provide freely accessible curriculum content which educators can use or modify. Below are examples of sites to locate OER materials.  Visit the Open Educational Resources guide for more information. 

OER Commons is dedicated to curriculum improvement by creating a network where instructors can contribute their course materials or borrow, use, and adapt course materials from other instructors. 

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the course materials used in MIT courses available on the Web. While the intent of the site is to provide free courses to all. They do allow their materials to be modified and remixed for non-commercial use as long as attribution is provided. 

Search Tip 1: Finding images on Google labeled for reuse.

Not all images on Google are copyright friendly.  You can locate an image with license to reuse by doing the following:

1). Enter your search terms in google.  

2). Click on Images.  

3). Select Settings.  

4). Under Usage rights, select the type of license you want.  

Your search will be limited to only those images that meet the licensing requirements selected. 

Sources for Images, Film & Music

There are many resources available on the web that use a Creative Commons license.  Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use a work based on the conditions of the creator. The sites below include media, music, and images that can be used based on Creative Commons licensing.

Wikimedia Commons is an image, audio and video repository of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content.

Free Music Archive provides a venue for legal downloading of music directed by WFMU, a leading freeform radio station in the United States. 

CCMixter (music) Music on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons license. You are free to download and sample from music on this site and share the results with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Some songs might have certain restrictions, depending on their specific licenses

Pixabay shares copyright free images and videos. All Content has a Creative Commons CC0, so they can be used without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist.

Unsplash contains over 1 million copyright free images.  

Google Images (image) provides an aggregate search of images.  Includes filters to limit to CC license images. 

Internet Movie Archive Contains full-length feature films that can be streamed or downloaded. Most are older movies that are in the Public Domain. Also include current video clips from news sources.

American Memory Collection: Digital Moving Images Contains images and film footage in several collections. Films range from late 1800s to mid 1900s.

Search Tip 2: Finding videos on YouTube labeled for reuse.

YOu can locate a Youtube video  that has a Creative Commons License by doing the following search:

1). Enter your search terms in Youtube

2). CLick on Filters

3). Select Creative Commons

Your results will only contain those videos that have a creative commons license.