Can I use copyrighted materials?

  • Copyright Basics VideoThe short answer is MAYBE. There are four things to consider before using copyrighted materials.

    1. Does it have a nonprofit educational purpose?
    2. What kind of material are you using?
    3. Are you using only a small portion?
    4. Will your use lower the commercial value of the original, or cost the creator money?

    Watch the videos on this page to learn about copyrights and then use the checklist below to vet your copyrighted item.

    get copyright free images

Fair Use Explained

  • public domain and fair use
    Copyright, Public Domain, and Fair Use Explained

Fair Use Checklist

  • Fair Use Checklist

How to use copyrighted materials

  • Can I use that image video
    Can I Use That Image? Also, how to use this flow chart ➡️

Use this flowchart before you use a copyrighted material

Created using Visme. An easy-to-use Infographic Maker.

Creative Commons

  • The Creative Commons organization manages six types of licenses that vary in their openness of use, ranging from allowing any type of use as long as the creator is attributed to only allowing personal use of the original work.

    Each of the license types were written in conformity with international copyright treaties and adapted to the local laws of more than 50 countries. When choosing free stock images licensed by Creative Commons, users should be aware of the six Creative Commons licenses.

Correctly Use Creative Commons Materials

  • Creative Commons graphic

    CC BY – attribution

    This license allows others to distribute, modify and adapt the image, even commercially, as long as the copyright holder is credited.

    CC BY-SA – attribution, share-alike

    The license allows others to reuse, modify and adapt the work, even for commercial use, as long as the original copyright holder is credited, and any new creations are shared under identical terms -- i.e., share-alike. Often compared to open-source software licenses, any new works that use any part of the original image must carry the same Creative Commons license. CC BY-SA is most-commonly associated with Wikipedia.

    CC BY-ND – attribution, noderivs

    This license allows for the redistribution or content -- whether commercial or noncommercial -- as long as it is used unchanged and in whole, and the original copyright holder is accredited. In other words, no derivatives of the original work are allowed.

    CC BY-NC – attribution, non-commercial

    This license allows others to use, modify and adapt works for non-commercial purposes only, provided the original creator is credited. Any new works that use any part of the original work must also be attributed to the original creator and be used non-commercially, although they do not have to license their own derivatives on the same terms.

    CC BY-NC-SA – attribution, non-commercial, share-alike

    This license allows others to reuse, modify and adapt works for non-commercial use, as long as the original copyright holder is credited and new creations are licensed under identical terms as the original.

    CC BY-NC-ND – attribution, non-commercial, noderivs

    The most restrictive of the Creative Commons licenses, content can be downloaded and shared with others as long as the copyright holder is credited, but images cannot be changed in any way or used commercially.

Copyright Free Images & Music

  • The images, videos and music found in the links below are all FREE, copyright free or creative commons materials. Although you can use them freely, it's always nice to site the creator whenever possible. With the exception of Canva, the creator's name is usually listed on the download screen.

  • Canva
    Canva uses images from Shutterstock, which is rich with photo and clipart options. First you must start a project like a document, then choose Elements...and search for the image and add it to your document. To save it, click Share...Download and choose .jpg or .png.