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Lowther Hall Nora Collisson Centre (Library): Copyright: Advanced



Copyright is a way to protect the intellectual property of the creator of a particular work.  It ensures that the rights of the creator are protected and limits others making copies of or distributing or performing their work without their knowledge. The creative work may be literary, artistic or in musical form.

The key words are without the creators' knowledge. But when you are creating your own projects you can sometimes use other peoples' creations. Look for Creative Commons licences  and Open Access.


Creative Commons Explained



Creative Commons license - Wikipedia

Recognise this symbol?

It is the symbol for Creative Commons licences.

Materials that carry this symbol mean that teachers and students can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix a CC work without having seeking the permission of the creator. Of course, always make sure that the work is appropriately and ethically cited.

Look for free images, text, music, or audio-visual resources which carry this symbol to use in your own work.

Click on the symbol to go directly to the Creative Commons site to search for work you may use under the CC licences.


Six Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons does not replace copyright but is a free licensing system that allows the author of a work to specify how that work can be used by others. Even though the author retains full copyright, the Creative Commons (CC) license gives others the legal permission to copy and use the work. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. The licenses apply on top of copyright, so you can modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

Works held under a Creative Commons Licenses are indicated with a Image result for Creative Commons Symbol symbol.  Additionally, CC works can have four other rights attached to the licenses that add or subtract certain permissions.  These rights can be combined into six different Creative Commons Licenses as illustrated below:

Information Source:

Poster Source:  "How to License Poster" by Creative Commons is licensed under  CC BY 4.0

Open Access


Recognise this symbol?

It’s the symbol for Open Access in publishing.

Articles that carry this symbol are:

  • Free
  • Immediately available
  • Online
  • With re-use rights 

Look for this symbol when sourcing your ideas / information / images.


Copyright: Basics

Why do we need Creative Commons?

If you are looking for resources that you can freely and legally use, Creative Commons Licenses let you know which items are available for free use and how to give the creator credit.  .



Find Creative Commons licensed materials here

Find Creative Commons licences here

Creative Commons explained

If you prefer to learn by listening and viewing, watch this video about Creative Commons licensing.