VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Open Licenses

Find Open Content

When searching for images and other types of content, if you find a work that is not available under an open license, you should check the website terms and conditions to understand how you are permitted to use the work.

If you cannot find any open license, terms and conditions, or statement about use of the work, assume it is available under normal copyright restrictions.

Copyright for Faculty

For more information about copyright, see our guides on:


Questions About Copyright?

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Hillary Miller
Cabell Library, 121-C
(804) 827-0462

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VCU Libraries provides faculty, researchers, and students with informative resources that can help guide them in the responsible use of copyrighted works and encourage them to exercise their fair use rights. VCU Libraries makes every effort to assure the accuracy of this information but does not offer it as counsel or legal advice. For legal advice, please consult the Office of University Counsel.

What are Open Licenses?

Authors use open licenses to grant permissions for use of their works in ways beyond what copyright normally allows. Open licenses do not replace copyright but work alongside it, allowing authors and creators to keep their copyrights while permitting others to use their works. There are many types of open licenses, and you should choose one that fits the type of work you are sharing (such as text, images, data, or software) and permits the types of uses you want others to be able to make.