Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

Plagiarism: Copyright and Ethical Use

Resources to help you better understand and avoid plagiarism


According to WIPO: "Copyright (or author’s right) is a legal term used to describe the rights that creators have over their literary and artistic works. Works covered by copyright range from books, music, paintings, sculpture, and films, to computer programs, databases, advertisements, maps, and technical drawings".

Public Domain

A work is in the public domain when it is no longer copyrighted, because the copyright duration or term has expired, the copyright owner has released the work, or the work was never copyrighted.

Works in the public domain can be copied, shared, distributed and translated by any person for free and without needing permission from anyone.

Creative Commons

alt="CC logo"

Creative Commons - a nonprofit organization that works "to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing." (Creative Commons, n.d., para. 1)

Creative Commons licenses provide a way for people to share their work and make it available for others to build on and reuse. It is free to download, adapt, distribute, and transmit without having to ask permission. Depending on the license, however, there may be certain conditions: you may only be able to use the content for educational purposes, you may have to give attribution, etc. Because licenses vary, always be sure to check the exact terms of the license before using an image.

alt="attribution logo"   Attribution: others can use the work however they like, so long as they give credit

alt="no derivative work"   No Derivative Work: other can copy, display, or perform your work, but it must be verbatim

alt="no commercial"   Non-Commercial: other can use your work, but for non-commercial purposes only

alt="share alike"   Share Alike: others can distribute derivative works, but only under the same terms as the original license


“Website: Creative Commons” by Creative Commons under CC BY 4.0 

Creative Commons Images