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Copyrighted versus Open Access and Open Education Resources (OER)

Q: If it is on the Internet, it is free to use, right?

A: It may be free to access, but it is better to link to copyright protected works instead of making a copy that can be shared without giving the copyright owner a chance to make money from the transaction. If you want to make a work available to all your students, every year, you can pay for a license, get written permission from the copyright owner, or find similar content that is opened with a license addendum for easier use.

  • When it comes to teaching, you have to make sure you are following copyright law, fair use, and TEACH guidelines. 
  • All original content, regardless of access, may have copyright protection, even if it is not declared.
  • When in doubt, treat everything as under copyright, until proven otherwise.

DISCLAIMER:  These notes are for informational purposes only. I am not a legal expert, and individuals should seek professional legal advice when necessary.

Favorite OER Finders:

Subject Lists of Free Textbooks Commonly Used

Custom OER Google Search

Did you know? About 20% of Wisconsin households do not have access to the internet


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