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Copyright for Instructors

Alternatives to Copyright

Do you want more flexibility when using resources and materials?

Explore the sections below to find information about resources that have less copyright restrictions than traditional copyright-protected materials: 

Explore the links under each section for more information about the different types of resources. 

Looking for more information on copyright alternatives?

Langara College has a website dedicated to copyright alternatives and Open Education? The site has more information on: 

  • Finding resource (by type and by subject)
  • Evaluating and adopting resources
  • Adapting and creating resources
  • Teaching and Open Pedagogy
  • and more


Langara Open Education

Open Educational Resources (OER)

OER are "teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others."

Resources include course materials, open textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other materials that facilitate access to knowledge. (Adapted from BCcampus)

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are internationally recognized licenses that creators can add to their work to redefine the ways their works can be used. Materials with a CC license can be reproduced with fewer restrictions than traditional copyright-protected works.

A variety of CC licenses are available to creators, with attribution being the most basic requirement. For example, a photographer might waive their right to benefit financially from commercial use of their work, but retain the right to attribution. In doing so, creators allow freer and more flexible use of their works than is permitted under traditional copyright regimes.

More information on Creative Commons licenses: 

How to search for works with a Creative Commons licenses: 

Open Access

Open access is a new mode of scholarly publishing where research outputs are made freely available via the internet. This represents a shift from the traditional publishing model, in which commercial publishers restrict access to scholarly content through fee-based subscriptions.

Search for peer-reviewed open access publications in your field:

Open access is different from open educational resources (OER) because although open access resources are free, they cannot be modified or repurposed the same way OER can. 

Public Domain

When copyright expires, works enter the public domain. 

Works in the public domain are free of copyright and can be used or modified without payment or permission from the owner. 

Before copying a work, ensure the copy-in-hand is in the public domain. Republished or edited work may have new copyright restrictions.

To locate public domain material online, search online for "public domain" + the type of material you are interested in (i.e. "public domain" images).

Popular pubic domain collections include

Finding Images

Contact us

General Queries:

The information obtained from or through this website is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes and is not intended to constitute legal advice.

Creative Commons License

Langara's copyright website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.