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DSNA 114: 4D Design: Copyright Information


Royalty-free means that you do not have to pay the creator to use this work per use.  HOWEVER, you often have to pay to get the work first (whether you pay it or you use materials that we have purchased that are royalty-free). 

Royalty-free works are often without many restrictions on their use.  You will still need to check to see if you need to give credit to the creator of the work.

Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses allow creators to make a license that gives you the right to do different things with their creations.  Creative Commons allows you to do more with other people's work than copyright.

There are six different license types, but not all will be helpful for your work.  The four major elements are:

  1. Attribution (BY) - you must credit the creator of the work you are using
  2. ShareAlike (SA) - you must license your work under the same Creative Commons license if you use material from a SA license
  3. NoDerivs (ND) - you cannot change the material and it must presented whole in your work
  4. NonCommercial (NC) - you cannot use this material for commercial projects

The four elements combine to make the six license types.  The licenses that will be helpful for your projects are below (from most helpful to least helpful):

  1. Attribution - CC BY
  2. Attribution NonCommercial - CC BY NC
  3. Attribution ShareAlike - CC BY SA
  4. Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike - CC BY NC SA

These two licenses aren't helpful for your projects since they don't allow you to make derivatives (i.e., remix their material into your project):

  1. Attribution NoDerivs - CC BY ND
  2. Attribution NonCommercial NoDervis - CC BY NC ND

To see more about the individual licenses, click the link below:

Public Domain

Creative works that are in the public domain do not have copyright protection and may be used freely. 

They fall under these broad categories:

  • Works of the U.S. Government
  • Facts and Non-Creative Works
  • Copyrighted Material That Has Expired

See the links below for helpful tools to help you determine if something is in the public domain.