Intellectual Property refers to thoughts, words, expressions of creativity that are protected under copyright, patent, trademark or other laws. There are differing rules around the world.

    Copyright protects works of authorship, such as writings, music, and works of art that have been tangibly expressed. It gives creators exclusive rights to the use and distribution of their work. This means it is illegal to use someone's work, such as sounds or music, images, or articles without the author's permission, in addition to crediting the creator and possibly even paying for the right to use the work. Fair use is the only way to use copyrighted materials without the permission of the author. The Library of Congress registers copyrights which generally last the life of the author plus 70 years.  Copyright tools

    Public Domain works are not protected by patent or copyright, so they are available to the public for use without charge or request for permission. Credit should still be given for public domain works.

    Fair Use is a legal doctrine that allows for brief excerpt of copyrighted material to be used without asking the creator's permission for certain types of uses, such as criticism or review, news reporting, teaching, research, or parody. 

    The four factors of Fair Use that must be considered are:

    1. Purpose of the work (Is it to teach, report, research or parody? Is the use transformative?)
    2. Nature of the copyrighted work (Is the original work more educational/factual or entertainment?)
    3. Amount of the work used (Is a large percentage or the "heart" of the work used?)
    4. Effect of the use on value of the original (Does the use substitute for the original or prevent the creator from making money?)

    The CSU Long Beach Library has a great resource where you can read more about common Fair Use scenarios.

    Fair Use 4 points


    Creative Commons is a great option for copyright-friendly images and sounds/music you can use when making your own creations. Creative Commons works are pre-licensed for use without asking the creator's permission (it has already been granted by the CC licence), and often even for commercial use or remixing, as long as the user gives credit to the creator and follows other license guidelines.

    Creative Commons Search - Search for Creative Commons materials including images, music, and videos from 13 different websites. 
    YouTube Audio Library - Search for Creative Commons or public domain music and sound effects - easy to download
    Free Music Archive - Free, high- quality music in a wide range of genres, and the content is under various Creative Commons licenses.
    Soundgator - Find common sounds like doorbells ringing, dogs barking, or car horns honking on this site. You have to register in order to download recordings, but it is free.
    The Public Domain Review - Collections of images, books, essays, audio recordings, and films that are in the public domain.
    Morgue File -  Thousands of images that anyone can use for free in academic or commercial presentations. (Some images must be cited.)
    Pixabay - Thousands of high-resolution, public domain images.
    Movie Image Archive - Contains digital movies uploaded by Archive users which range from classic full-length films, to daily alternative news .
    USGS- Land Cover Trends- Field photos- This collection contains over 33,000 geo-referenced field photos with associated keywords describing the land-use and land-cover change processes taking place.
  • 1."Copyrights and Wrongs." Common Sense Education.  2015. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.
    2. "Creative Credit & Copyright." Common Sense Education. 2015. Web. 6 June 2016.
    "Welcome to the Public Domain." Stanford Copyright and Fair Use Center Welcome to the Public Domain Comments. 3 Apr. 2013. Web. 21 Oct. 2015.