Copyright law is written to balance the protection of original works as well as promote innovation and creative undertakings. There are a variety of works that are protected by copyright law, some of which include: paintings, photographs, plays, software applications, architectural designs, song lyrics, sound recordings, musical compositions, books, movies, and much more!
- For materials that allow for distribution, provide a direct link to the source. Unless you have a license or permission to share the content, avoid downloading .pdf files of websites and articles.
- Contact the Champlain College Library early to locate course materials that may be used freely in online courses. This is particularly important for ebooks used as course textbooks.
To learn more about copyright law, check out the following resources:
- U.S. Copyright Office
- Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the US Constitution
- Copyright, Fair Use & Public Domain Guidance from Stanford Libraries
Free Media Resources
The following sites are sources for media that is free to use in most circumstances. Pay special attention to any media licensed under Creative Commons as each piece will have specific requirements that must be met in order to legally use it. For example, if a piece is licensed as CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike), that means you must provide attribution in your piece or where you publish it, as well as make the piece you create from that material available for others to take and create from as well under the same license.
- Pixabay: High-Resolution Photographs, Illustrations, Vector Graphics, and Videos All materials are in the public domain. Modern, high-quality materials.
- Unsplash: High-Resolution Photographs. Modern, high-quality materials.
- Pexels & Pexels Videos: High-Resolution Photos & Videos. Modern, high-quality materials.
- Internet Archive: The Internet Archive has tons of historical material but requires a great deal of sifting and research to determine what is safe to use. One reliable collection for public domain government videos is the Preligner Archives. Note, that if a piece of media does not clearly state that it is in the public domain, it is best to avoid using it.
- Wikimedia Commons: Repository of creative commons materials. Mostly stills.
- YouTube’s Audio Library: Free songs to download and use in media projects. Some are public domain, and others are licensed under Creative Commons and require attribution. You may use your Champlain account credentials to log in to the Audio Library. Once you’ve logged in, the library should appear.
- Free Music Archive: Collection of Public Domain and Creative Commons licensed music.