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Texas State University

USEFUL TIPS Finding Free-To-Share Work For Your Course Site

Finding free-to-share work for your site

Using copyrighted material in your course and web sites may create legal trouble that could result in heavy fines and embarrassment for you and the university. Following these guidelines will help you model best practices for your students.

What kinds of work can I find online that will be free to use in my site?

You can use anything that is in the public domain. CC0 marked works are in the public domain and don’t have to be attributed.

Audio-Visual

Where can I find free-to-share music online? I need music to play in my mini-lecture videos.

You can use any music marked CC BY. CC BY means you are free to share and modify the music however you like. You only need to attribute it. Find CC BY music at the following sites:

ccMixter

Soundcloud

Internet Archive’s Netlabels Collection

Free Music Archive

Audio-Visual

Where can I find free-to-share music online? I need music to play in my mini-lecture videos.

You can use any music marked CC BY. CC BY means you are free to share and modify the music however you like. You only need to attribute it. Find CC BY music at the following sites:

ccMixter

Soundcloud

Internet Archive’s Netlabels Collection

Free Music Archive

Where can I find free-to-share video online?   I need to find video clips that explain key concepts or that illustrate important points in my course.

YouTube has many free-to-share videos. To find them, search at Creative Commons: type in your keywords and then click on the box marked YouTube.

Can I upload a film? 

You can upload clips of a film to your course site, but not an entire film. If you need your students to watch an entire film, University Libraries can purchase a streaming license for it.

Can I link to videos or audio I find online? 

Linking to online videos or audio files is okay. You don’t have to ask permission or buy a license to link to online content.

What about embedding video links? 

Embedding videos is okay. If you want to embed images, use CC0 or CCBY images.

Images

Where can I find photos and graphics that I can use? I want to find images that help make my site more visually interesting.

Public domain vectors and clip art https://publicdomainvectors.org/.

Wikimedia and Pexels have CC0 public domain images that you can use without attribution.

Google Images and Pixabay have many free-to-share images are licensed CC BY. To find them, search from Creative Commons: type in your keywords and then click on the boxes marked Google Images or Pixabay or try the new CC search

What about cartoons or comics? I like to post funny cartoons.

Most cartoonists will give you permission to use their cartoons in your course site for free if you send them an email. You can buy licenses for less than $20 to use many other cartoons at Cartoonstock.com. Unfortunately, all Dilbert cartoons are $100 per use.

Text

Can I upload a journal article? I want my students to read several journal articles I’ve found online.

Link to the article rather than upload it. To find a link, search in Start Your Research.

Can I upload a book chapter? I don’t want students to have to buy the whole book for a single chapter.

If the amount is very small (4-6 % of the total book), you can rely on fair use to upload a chapter.

For more information and questions about copyright, contact the Copyright Officer, Stephanie Towery or check out the resources available at the Texas State Copyright Office and the Copyright Research Guide.

Download a two-page Word document of "Finding Free-to-Share Work for Your Course or Web Site."