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Faculty Library Resources: Resources Available without Permission

Resources Available without Permission

There are many open access web-based resources that are either in the public domain or available through a Creative Commons license. You can also use resources from the PCC Library’s databases for your classes without having to request permission and the material can be used for more than one semester.


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is an organization that created a series of licenses content creators can adopt to allow their works to be freely used by the public..  These licenses are used for many works including songs, videos, images and other digital material.

  • The six Creative Commons licenses currently available offer varying terms of use, though all require author credit be given. To learn more about Creative Commons Licenses and how they differ, see About CC licenses.To find materials with Creative Commons licenses, search their website  at CC Search. (If using for PCC purposes uncheck the box next to “use for commercial purposes.”)

Public Domain

“The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.” (Stanford University Libraries)

To assist you in determining if something is in the public domain, this website might be helpful:

  • Is it Protected by Copyright?: An online “digital slider” from the American Library Association’s Office for Information Technology Policy. It offers guidance based on the date of first publication of a given title.

While not public domain, many Creative Commons  licensed works do not need permission. There are different Creative Commons licenses, so be sure you are aware of the type of permissions and/or attributions required of the work you are using. You can find out more at: