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Creative Commons and the Public Domain

This guide explains how to find scholarly and creative work that can be reused in educational materials, theses, and the like. It also explains how to license one's own work for reuse.


This guide explains how to find scholarly and creative materials that can be freely reused - either because copyright holders have given their automatic approval via Creative Commons licenses or because work has entered the public domain. This guide also explains how to apply Creative Commons licenses to your own work should you wish to share it with others.

Note that this guide does not deal with copyrighted works generally. You will find copyrighted items that are neither in the public domain nor covered by a Creative Commons license. If you wish to use this work, your considerations will be different. Most notably you'll want to consider whether your use of the work falls under fair use or TEACH Act exceptions. If it does not, you must contact the copyright holder for permission to use their work. Find more about copyright generally in this copyright overview by WSU Vancouver Library.

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