Copyright Friendly Resources

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Copyright friendly resources often feature less restrictions than traditional copyrighted materials and offer expanded opportunities for reproduction. They include works in the public domain, works licensed under Creative Commons licences, and open access resources.  


Public Domain

Once a work’s copyright term expires, it enters the public domain and can be reproduced without permission. In Canada, works were protected for 50 years as of the December after the creator’s death if that protection expired before January 1, 2022. Works in the public domain on January 1, 2022 will remain in the public domain. Starting in 2022, works are protected for 70 years as of December after the creator's death. The term for sound recordings continues to be 70 years without revision.  Learn more about the public domain from this University of Alberta Public Domain Flowchart


Public domain works can be found at: Ebookfriendly, HathiTrust, Internet Archive, International Music Score Library, LibriVox, PixaBay Images, Project Gutenberg, and Wikipedia Public Domain


Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that facilitates knowledge sharing through unique copyright licences. Creators who want to share their work widely and flexibly, while still maintaining some rights, can choose to license their work under one of Creative Common’s licences. Learn more about Creative Commons and its different licensing options. 


Creative Commons works can be located using  They can also be found at: Creative Commons Content Directories, Flickr, Legal Music For Videos, Places to Find Creative Commons Media, and Wikimedia Commons.  


Open Access

Open access refers to scholarly works that are freely available and can be shared with minimal restrictions.  Learn more about open access materials from this helpful video, Open Access Explained!


Open access resources can be found at: Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), Open Access Texts, OpenDoar, OpenStax, Public Library of Science, and PubMed.


Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open educational resources (OER) are learning and teaching resources that students and instructors can freely access, share, and modify.  They include digital course content, open textbooks, teaching materials, learning modules, and more.  Often, they are made available through copyright friendly means such as the public domain or a Creative Common’ licence. 

To learn more, please visit our OER page.


This website provides educational information. It does not provide legal advice.