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Copyright at Okanagan College


Do you want more flexibility when using resources and materials?

Explore the sections below to find information about resources that have less copyright restrictions than traditional copyright-protected materials: 

Explore the links under each section for more information about the different types of resources. 


Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER are "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others."

Resources include course materials, open textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other materials that facilitate access to knowledge. (Adapted from BCcampus)


Creative Commons (CC)

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are internationally recognized licenses that creators can add to their work to redefine the ways their works can be used. Materials with a CC license can be reproduced with fewer restrictions than traditional copyright-protected works.

A variety of CC licenses are available to creators, with attribution being the most basic requirement. For example, a photographer might waive their right to benefit financially from commercial use of their work, but retain the right to attribution. In doing so, creators allow freer and more flexible use of their works than is permitted under traditional copyright regimes.

More information on Creative Commons licenses: 


Open Access

Open access is a mode of scholarly publishing where research outputs are made freely available via the internet. This represents a shift from the traditional publishing model, in which commercial publishers restrict access to scholarly content through fee-based subscriptions.

Find out more about Open Access:


Public Domain

When copyright expires, works enter the public domain. 

Works in the public domain are free of copyright and can be used or modified without payment or permission from the owner. 

Before copying a work, ensure the copy-in-hand is in the public domain. Republished or edited work may have new copyright restrictions.

To locate public domain material online, search online for "public domain" + the type of material you are interested in (i.e. "public domain" images).

Popular pubic domain collections include:


Find images with open licenses

Many online image collections have ways to limit to Creative Commons license, or other open licenses.


Information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice, but is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes.

The Copyright at Okanagan College website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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