Research Guides

Open Educational Resources

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licenses represent a departure from traditional copyright, which automatically reserves all rights for the creator of a work. By contrast, Creative Commons licenses offer users the ability to retain, revise, reuse, remix, and redistribute their work, depending on which license is chosen. 

To the left is an image of the six individual licenses. For a more specific breakdown of the symbols, see the box below: for a comprehensive explanation of each license, use the Choose a License tool to find out more, and to determine which combination of permissions will best fit your needs.


If you're new to Creative Commons licenses, below is a guide to the symbols used in each license. 

Copyright, Public Domain, and Fair Use

Traditional Copyright

About Copyrights - An informative summary of copyright principles, from Columbia University. 

U.S. Copyright Overview - Addresses the basics and key concepts of copyright law. 

Copyright FAQ - From, answers to frequently asked questions.  

Feel free to also check out our more extensive copyright guide on this page

Public Domain

Public Domain Slider - Helps to determine whether a work falls within the public domain. 

Best Practices from the Center for Media and Social Impact - Selected resources for journalism, teaching, and more.

Fair Use 

Fair Use Evaluator - A website that helps to determine Fair Use.