Public domain works are either ineligible for copyright or have expired copyrights. Creative commons allows creators to set their own licensing for reuse by others.
Works in the public domain may be used freely without the permission of the former copyright owner. According to the U. S. Copyright Office, a work of authorship is in the public domain if it is no longer under copyright protection or if it failed to meet the requirements for copyright protection. Many U.S. federal government documents are not entitled to copyright protection under U.S. law; therefore, images within many government publications and web sites are free to use.
When Does a Copyrighted work become Public Domain in the US?
Some web sites are allowing their users to choose a Creative Commons license. This nonprofit organization offers a number of licenses which users can designate their own terms ranging form 'Some Rights Reserved' to public domain. Creative Commons-licensed materials are not all public domain, you will have to look closely to be sure. CC attributions vary, therefore you must read the summary of the license to understand how to use the image, texts, videos, music etc.
Whenever possible, images should come from the public domain or Creative Commons.
The SJR State Division of Library Services has compiled resources that will help you make informed decisions about the proper use of copyrighted materials in your courses. Visit the Library’s Copyright Information page.
Peer-to-Peer File Sharing - While Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technologies facilitate collaborative work, creativity, and have many important and legitimate uses. However, some forms of peer-to-peer file sharing violate the copyright law. To assist you in understanding the parameters of peer-to-peer file sharing visit the P2P File Sharing guide. A list of legal alternatives is made available through EDUCAUSE.
Faculty should contact Dr. Christina Will, Dean of Library Services, with specific copyright concerns.