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Online Learning: Open Images & Media

This guide is aimed primarily at students in the online undergraduate and graduate Education programs, and as such focuses on resources available online

Find and legally reuse images, music and video

Students and faculty are increasingly using images and media to create work, including presentations, videos and open course content. ‚ÄčImages, music, videos and other works posted on the internet are protected by copyright and proper attribution is required. Citations should include the source of the material used and, if available, the name of the creator.

When crediting a work, you may not need to use a specific citation style, but you do need to provide attribution in the way the creator requested. Some licenses may require that you place the citation near the work, while others allow you to group citations together at the end of a work. Citation format may vary depending on the license or the citation practices of each discipline.

Citations should generally include the following information:

  • Title (if there is one)
  • Author (or owner of the material)
  • Source (where it can be found; usually a link)
  • License (if there is one; include the name of specific license with a link to that license).

An easy way to find media to reuse and remix is to search for Creative Commons, licensed, and public domain works.

These videos can then be remixed using the YouTube Video Editor. 


Creative Commons License
This Guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY), unless otherwise noted.

Open images with attribution / citation


Timepiece by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

The face of a black windup alarm clock

The face of a black windup alarm clock by Sun Ladder is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.


Image shared under a CC0 license


Image shared under a CC0 license


There are exceptions in the Copyright Act for educational institutions, but they are primarily concerned with uses for an audience of students of a specific institution; for example, works posted in a closed learning management system or used in a physical classroom. If you want to copy and reuse a work and share it publicly, options include:

  • Using Creative Commons, open licensed and public domain works
  • Creating what is informally known as a 'mash-up,' or "Non-commercial User-generated Content," as defined by the Copyright Act
  • Asking the copyright holder for permission to reuse the work

For more information, see the UOIT Copyright Guide.