Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

or browse databases: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

View of Georgetown campus from the Virginia side of the Potomac

Audio and Podcasting Projects

Finding Media That is Okay To Use

If you are planning to make your project publicly accessible and want to incorporate any third-party material, consider using Creative Commons or public domain materials to avoid any copyright issues.

Creative Commons - Under the Creative Commons licensing system, creators tell other people how their works can be used by marking it with a CC license. The non-profit organization Creative Commons offers six different licenses that creators apply to their work to make available for public use. All six licenses require attribution to the creator, and there may be additional restrictions on how the work can be used. Learn more about Creative Commons licensing. Search for works with a Creative Commons license.

One condition of all CC licenses is proper attribution. For information on how to attribute Creative Commons materials, read the "Attributing Sources" section of the Creative Commons Use & remix page. For more details and examples, check out the CC Best practices for attribution page.

Public Domain - Works in the public domain are works that are not protected by copyright law. This means that the work may be freely used and adapted by others without a license fee or permission from the creator of the work. Note that "public domain" has a very specific legal meaning and does not include all materials that are openly available to the public. The primary way in which creative materials enter the public domain is when the copyright term expires. Another source of public domain material is works of the federal government, which are not subject to copyright protection. Learn more about the public domain.

It is important to note that while public domain works are free of copyright restrictions, you must provide appropriate citations to your sources for academic integrity.

Learn More - Read more and on our Copyright and Multimedia pages.

Find Media - To find Creative Commons or public domain materials, take a look at the sties in the sidebar or these pages:

Fair Use

Fair use is a legal doctrine that allows you to use copyright-protected material under certain circumstances without getting permission from the copyright owner or paying any license fees. Fair use allows you to use limited portions of another’s work, including text, images, video, and music, in your new work. 

Fair Use Factors - To determine whether a use is fair or not, four factors must be weighed and balanced. The four factors are:

  • The Purpose and Character of the Use
  • The Nature of the Copyrighted Work
  • The Amount and Substantiality of the Portion Used
  • The Effect of the Use on the Potential Market for or Value of the Copyrighted Work

Rights holders and users of copyrighted materials do not always agree on whether a use is fair, so conflicts can arise, and a particular use could be challenged by the copyright holder.

Learn More - Read more about fair use, or try the Fair Use Evaluator.

Proper Citation - Be sure to provide a proper credit for all material that you use in your project whether it is Creative Commons, public domain, or fair use. In your citation you should include the creator, title of the work, date of publication, and URL. Consult your professor about what citation style to use: APA, Chicago/Turabian, or MLA.

Follow your instructor's directions for presenting this material. You could have the information in text form or cite material orally at the end of your audio recording.

Creative Commons   This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International License. | Details of our policy