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Copyright: For Students

An introduction to issues of copyright as they relate to students and faculty on campus

Open Source Software

GNU Operating System

Open Source Initiative


"Thousands of code, scripts & plugins for every website build.  Choose from ecommerce plugins, mobile app templates, PHP, Bootstrap & more for any budget, built by the world’s best developers," (from the website).

"The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a nonprofit with a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom. We defend the rights of all software users.

"Free Open Source Software (FOSS), sometimes also called just Open Source or Free Software, is software that is licensed to be free to use, modify, and distribute.  Most FOSS licenses also include a kind of legal Golden Rule that requires any changes, such as fixes and enhancements, to be released under the same license," (from the website).

"With our aim is to provide you with the simplest method of downloading the newest versions of the best software - without the usual excessive popups or spyware and without the low-quality software," (from the website).

"FreeBSD is an operating system used to power modern servers, desktops, and embedded platforms. A large community has continually developed it for more than thirty years," (from the website).

"Millions of developers and companies build, ship, and maintain their software on GitHub—the largest and most advanced development platform in the world," (from the website).

Free and open source software has been part of Google's technical and organizational foundation since the beginning. We've launched a new website for Google Open Source that ties together all of our initiatives with information on how we use, release, and support open source.

"60 million users a month find what they’re looking for by downloading four million apps and software products – every single day," (from the website).

SourceForge is an Open Source software community resource dedicated to helping open source projects be as successful as possible. We thrive on community collaboration to help us create a premiere resource for open source software development and distribution," (From the website).

A Romanian-based software site indexing, reviewing, and hosting software There are sections for Windows, Mac, Linux, Games, Drivers, Mobile, Webscripts, as well as tech and science news.   

"Ubuntu is an ancient African word meaning ‘humanity to others’. It is often described as reminding us that ‘I am what I am because of who we all are’. We bring the spirit of Ubuntu to the world of computers and software. The Ubuntu distribution represents the best of what the world’s software community has shared with the world," (From the websirte).


The Open Group, is an enabler of key technologies and delivers reduced total cost of ownership, increased IT agility, stability, and interoperability in heterogeneous environments enabling business and market innovation across the globe. This OS has an interesting history while showcasing a robust modern market momentum. Download the UNIX Overview


Images in the CC

In the Advanced Search select the option change the "usage rights: free to use or share." option.

Over 2.5 million free images & royalty free stock images, videos and music shared by the Pixabay community.

Flickr provides photos by Creative Commons license categories.  Flicker's search engine includes a drop-down menu to limit the search to "All Creative Commons."


"Millions of high-quality free and premium photos to create beautiful designs," (from the website)

Over 2.5 million free images & royalty free stock images, videos and music shared by the Pixabay community," (from the website)

"The best free stock photos, royalty free images & videos shared by creators," (from the website)

"Unsplash. The internet’s source of freely-usable images. Powered by creators everywhere," (from the website) A database of 215,207 (beta) freely usable images to which anyone can contribute.


"All Videos published on can be used free for commercial and non-commercial purposes. You do not need to ask permission from or provide credit to the videographer or, although it is appreciated when possible," (from the website).

"No copyright restrictions (personal & commercial). How about that? The only thing we don't want is our entire collection on your website, so we had set the redistribution limited to 10 videos on other sites.

If you feel like it, pay us a beer or a mention on your website, it’s helping the community and it’s encouraging us to produce more video clips ;)," (from the website).

Mazwai was built with one simple aim: to provide free, high-quality, cinematic style stock footage, that can be used in a wide range of creative projects. 

Combine your content with high-quality, free video clips from our growing library. Unlimited downloads across categories such as free coffee videosfree drone videosstunning nature clips and much more," (from the website).

"Visit us every week for new free downloads!  MotionElements is the best online stock footage site to download free video clips. Choose from free stock video to free After Effects templates to free stock music.  All our Elements are royalty-free, so you can use in multiple projects across any media worldwide," (from the website).

Over 2.5 million free images & royalty free stock images, videos and music shared by the Pixabay community," (from the website)

"The best free stock photos, royalty-free images & videos shared by creators," (from the website)

"Stock video footage can be used for both personal and commercial projects for free! You are free to download, edit, and remix our videos. Only requirement is that you visibly add a credit link to somewhere," (from the website) 

Music and Audio

"All [Audionauti] music is composed and produced by Jason Shaw. This music is royalty free - completely free - for you to download and use (even for commercial purposes) as long as you provide credit," (from the website).

"Bandcamp is an online record store and music community where passionate fans discover, connect with, and directly support the artists they love," (from the website).

"You can use Bensound's music available under the Free License (with the black download button) in your multimedia project (online videos, websites, animations, etc.) for free as long as you credit," (from the website).

All free downloads controlled by Creative Commons License

"You Already Have Permission
The music discovery site used in over 1 million videos and games," (from the website).

Royalty-free music and audio tracks from $1
1,814,227 tracks and sounds from our community of musicians and sound engineers.

The music is absolutely royalty-free. Our artists are not members of collecting societies (like GEMA, SUISA....) and the music is therefore not registered there. Our artists upload their music under the Standard License..

Free Music Archive.  "If you have a budget, Tribe of Noise PRO will be your favorite website for safe to use, royalty-free, original music. Search and sign up is free. Select a license, pay and download.  In some cases you can also use Creative Commons licensed FMA songs for free in your project. Make sure to read this License Guide first," (from the website).


Over 2.5 million free images & royalty free stock images, videos and music shared by the Pixabay community," (from the website).

"You can use any of the tracks marked "Free" in all of your videos, live streams, and podcasts and even monetize your channels. For the remaining 50,000+ songs and 50,000+ SFX, you may listen and play them during livestreams, but a Paid account is required to download and use them in your content.

You cannot use the Free tracks in commercial content and will need the Commercial plan for this," (from the website).

Free background music for your non-commercial video projects. This is an individual license. Non-monetized YouTube channels," (from the website).

"Free music for creatorsNo copyright claims. Your favorite beatmakers," (from the website).


Metasite of 14 audiobook providers


Fan Art

Fair Use and Students

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses delineate public use. The public at large is permitted to use designated copyrighted materials so long as it is within the scope of the license assigned to the item.  In the Creative Commons, there is no requirement or need to seek additional permission from the rightsholder.  The terms of the license, however, must be followed.    The rightsholder selects one of the several types of licenses for users to follow.  Most licenses require attribution to the creator of the original work. Another license prohibits commercial use of the item. 


The following descriptions of the Creative Commons licenses come from About the Licenses by Creative Commons and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Attribution: CC BY

CC BY Icon

  • This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.
  • CC BY License Deed
  • CC BY Legal Code

Attribution-ShareAlike: CC BY-SA


  • This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.
  • CC BY-SA License Deed
  • CC BY-SA Legal Code

Attribution-NoDerivs: CC BY-ND


Attribution-NonCommercial: CC BY-NC


  • This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don't have to license their derivative works on the same terms.
  • CC BY-NC License Deed
  • CC BY-NC Legal Code

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: CC BY-NC-ND


  • This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
  • CC BY-NC-ND License Deed
  • CC BY-NC-ND Legal Code

Public Domain in Creative Commons

Creative Commons provides a Public Domain Dedication, known as CC0. For more information about CC0, consult Creative Commons's CC0 FAQ.

CC BY Icon

Creative Commons--Get Creative!

This 2002 video explains the  Creative Commons' history and function

Why Creative Commons

A video about the Creative Commons from the folks at Creative Commons


Fan Art, Mashups, Parody, and Transformative Work

                                                             Fan Art

Owen, Wickersham & Erickson
"Is Fan Art Legal Fair Use? What About Mash-ups? – Copyright Myths and Best Practices"

                                                             Mashups & Copyright

Ogden Glazer + Schaefer
The Legal Status of Mashup Music
June 18, 2019 by Collin Schaefer

Mashups and sampling: what’s fair use?

                                                             Parody & Copyright

"Why Is Parody Considered Fair Use But Satire Isn’t?"

Parody Fair Use Or Copyright Infringement

                                                            Transformative Work  & Copyright

Transformative Use and Copyright Infringement

The Difference Between a Derivative and a Transformative Work

How Much Is Too Much? Transformative Works vs. Derivative Works


License and Permission

Creative Commons License

  CC BYThis license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.