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Library Guides

Copyright@Drew: Creative Commons Licensing

Read the Label!

Many works available on the internet may offer low cost or bundled licenses for doing what you want.

Read the label-- especially if you are considering buying clip art! Make sure the license covers the use you need--

  • Are you making multiple copies, such as a flier?
  • Are you using it on the web?
  • Are you charging for the product you are producing?

Copyright Clearance Center

The Copyright Clearance Center sells licenses for copyrighted works whose owners have contracted with them.

Your organization may have an academic license with them.

Even if they do not, you can use the Copyright Clearance Center's website to find out how much it would cost to license the rights.

Seeking Permission On Your Own

Best Practices

  1. Identify who owns the work (places to check: publisher, author, heirs) 
  2. Be VERY specific on how you intend to use the work (how, when, where)
  3. Get permission in writing
  4. You can negotiate w/rightsholders (they may ask too much $ or deny first request)


Creative Commons & Open Access

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to define uses & conditions under which their works may be used.  These are often uses that are normally protected by copyright, but in these cases are allowable.  For example, if you see this license

it means you are allowed to use, remix and build upon this work as long as your use is noncommerical and acknowledges the creator.

See the full range of licenses, search for CC licensed content, or watch the video below to learn more about Creative Commons.


Open Access content is peer-reviewed scholarship available at not cost to the user.  One place to search for open access journal articles is in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ).

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