Copyright Web Resources
There are many Internet resources to help you learn about and navigate through the world of copyright. However, caveat emptor! Some are misleading or outright wrong. Below are online sources you may find helpful. Be aware that sites outside of the University of California may not be accurate for UC Davis.
Sources of Ready- or Easy-to-license Copyright-protected Works
Note: Inclusion here is informational, not an endorsement. Help us expand this list! Send sites which might be of interest to the UC Davis community to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ASCAP, BMI and SESAC represent most published music. UC Davis has a paid-up license for student’s educational use
- Classical.com – free subscription access to sound recordings for the UC Davis community
- Harry Fox Agency licenses published music when you want to make a new recording
- SmartSound is a fast, easy and cheap source of music; categories include cinematic, documentaries, atmospheric beds, corporate, rock/hip-hop-R&B, weddings & events, TV/promotions/trailers, world/travel and sound effects.
- MagnaTune is very easy to use, has a wide variety of (including classical) music and allows for on-the-spot licensing for all kinds of uses including commercial.
- MusicUnited.org has a long list of legal sites providing various kinds or music under various terms.
- Copyright Clearance Center handles many print journals
- Library of Congress "American Memories" has historic maps, photos, documents, audio and video
- Project Gutenberg is a library of 17000 free e-books whose copyright has expired in the USA
- MIT OpenCourseWare provides academic course materials that may be reusable
- StockXchang® has many stock photos you can use for free
- Stock.xchang ® has many stock photos you can use for free (move from the visual arts section just above this one)
- FlickrTM is an online photo site, whose advanced search function allows you to search for photos made freely available via a "Creative Commons" license. Be careful about using photos with unknown people – you may need their permission.
Finding Copyright Owners
Just because it’s on the Internet or doesn’t have a copyright notice doesn’t mean you don’t need permission! Finding the right person to ask can be a challenge but you have to give it a good-faith effort.
And when you do, here’s a simple form letter to ask for free permission.
- CISAC – International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers
- The Author’s Registry
- Literary Marketplace
- WATCH (Writers, Authors and Their Copyright Holders) site
- Artists Rights Society
- Best Practices for locating copyright owners of photographs and visual arts
- Britain – Artists Rights Society
- France - ADAGP
- WPA Murals project
- Old webpages are accessible through the Internet Archive WayBack Machine which may help you in finding copyright owners of materials you previously saw
- Search engines such as Google® can help you find many individuals directly
Using Famous People In Copyright-protected Works
In addition to copyright permission, using public persona may require a “right to publicity” license.
Copyright Policies & General Information
- University Copyright Policies
- UC Davis Copyright Policy
- UC Office of the President has an excellent copyright website with plain-English explanations of what copyright is and how to use copyright-protected works, as well as FAQs and links to all of the UC policies. You can learn about Fair Use there as well.
- US Copyright Office has many informative publications as well as the forms to register your copyright-protected materials. Remember that registrations for UC works at UC Davis are handled by UC Davis Technology Transfer Services.
Definitions of capitalized terms and FAQs are on the University of California copyright website.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be legal advice about your personal copyrighted property or situation. If you have questions about your own copyright protected work, please consult an attorney with expertise in copyright. UC Davis students may be entitled to a free consultation through ASUCD.