Copyright protects digital items just as it does physical ones. However, in the digital environment it can be very difficult to see what copyright or license applies and even more difficult to track down a creator to ask for permission. So what can you do?
This includes Creative Commons and Public Domain; these works will be clearly labeled so that you understand what you need to do to edit or reuse them.
If you are using these materials in the classroom, as a student or instructor, your work may be subject to different guidelines. Remember, you will still need to provide citation information to give proper credit to your sources.
Thanks to technology, creating your own images and media is easier than ever before.
There are many sites where you can pay to be able to use images, videos, etc. We recommend pursuing the other three options first!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You are welcome to reuse the content of this Guide as long as you attribute Butler University Libraries.
We used some content from the "Public Domain Resources" and "Creative Commons Resources" documents created by Indiana State University and licensed as CC BY-NC-SA.
Public Domain: Works that you can use in any way you want to. Most works enter the public domain once intellectual property laws expire, but some enter because creators wish for their work to be available without copyright law restrictions.
The Copyright Act gives the owner of a copyright the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute their work. One exception to this exclusive right is called the fair use exception: The fair use exception permits the reproduction of a portion of a copyrighted work without the copyright owner's permission, under certain circumstances. This is a vitally important exception for education, as it enables students, scholars, and critics to use and reference copyrighted works in their own scholarship, teaching, and critiques.
Four factors are considered in all fair use evaluations. They are:
Resources below can help you understand these factors and determine if your situation qualifies under Fair Use.
See the resources below for guidelines about specific formats or educational situations.
Email Butler University Libraries
Irwin Library: 317-940-9227
Science Library: 317-940-9937