Copyright and Author Rights

Key Decisions for Contributors and Publication Managers

For contributors, it is essential to carefully select, use and attribute any materials that are copyrighted to others. See below for ways to know when you can use others’ copyrighted materials in your own work without first getting permission.

For publication managers, good practice is to clearly state who owns the copyright to both the contributions and to the look and feel of the publication. Generally for student led publishing, the contributors should retain copyright and the publication can ask that the contributors license their work under a Creative Commons license. See below for more information on this.

Copyright law governs how you can use outside content and media samples in your articles and publications. Generally, unless you own the copyright, you may not use copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright holder.

An important exception to this rule is the ‘Fair Use‘ exception built in to copyright law. If you choose to claim fair use, be sure you understand and can explain how you believe your use to be fair, based on the ‘Four Factor‘ considerations.

There are also categories of material free of copyright restrictions, including public domain materials and those published under a license such as Creative Commons that explicitly permits re-use. Does the content you are interested in have a Creative Commons License that says you can use the work or part of the work?

CC Search is not a search engine, but offers access to search services provided by other independent organizations such as Flickr, Google Images, Pixabay, and YouTube.

Click here for a visual representation of these key decisions.