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Open Access

This guide provides links to Open Access resources.

What is Copyright?

Copyright allows authors to benefit from their work for a limited period of time. Copyright law has changed many time in the United States and, because of the many intricacies, only a copyright lawyer can understand them.

The Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) is a service that allows content users to pay content owners for their use of copyrighted content. In the case of books, publishers set a certain price per page with CCC and then users can fill out a form with CCC stating the intended use, how many pages they plan to use, and how many copies they plan to make. 

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit intellectual property licensing organization. The licenses are free and allow authors to protect their work with a variety of different restrictions:

  • Attribution - use, distribution, derivative works are allowed with citation.
  • Noncommerical - use, distribution, derivative works are allowed as long as it's not for commercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works - any use, distribution, etc. allowed as long as verbatim.
  • Share Alike - derivative works allowed so long as they are licensed under the same conditions as the original.

Different licenses can be mixed and matched to protect your work. See the different license types here:

What is Fair Use?

Fair Use is a set of exceptions in copyright law which allow people other than the copyright holder to use copyrighted material. This allows authors to quote a work, or educators to use material without having to get permission from the copyright holder first. The outline for fair use is intentionally blurry in order to protect both the copyright holder and the users of materials. 



Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University created this humorous, yet informative, review of copyright principles delivered through the words of the very folks we can thank for nearly endless copyright terms. Click here to watch the video of Disney characters explaining fair use.