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Copyright and Intellectual Property

Licensing and available resources

Licensing is an agreement between an intellectual property rights holder and another person or entity that authorizes the use of those rights, usually in exchange for a fee or royalty payment. 

Through our library's licensing agreements, we contract with e-resource vendors for online access to journal articles, ebooks, and other digitized materials. These agreements permit use of this intellectual property under the guidelines of Fair Use. Available databases are automatically included in a OneSearch inquiry from our library homepage when you are logged in through your WesPortal or through guest access. When you request other materials through the library's Reserves department, we obtain permissions on these requests through the Copyright Clearance Center.

We have an Annual Academic Copyright License with the CCC. This institution-wide license allows the reproduction and distribution of text-based copyrighted materials from participating publishers, authors, agents, and creators for educational and research purposes. This includes materials in both print and digital forms such as course packs, classrooms handouts, reserves, and Moodle. You can quickly find out if the materials you would like to use are covered by this license using these CCC tools.


Films that are part of the library's DVD collection can be made available through Reserve requests. For films that are not part of our collection, you may submit a request directly to Acquisitions. We will do everything we can to acquire a licensed copy of the DVD, but it may take time, so please put in your request as soon as you can. We also have two major suppliers for streaming films: Kanopy for documentaries and art films, and Swank Digital Campus for major motion pictures. Additionally, is an excellent streaming option for educators and students.

For further information on finding and using videos, please consult the Library Guide dedicated to this particular topic. (Note: films on VHS cannot be copied to DVD unless they belong to the library's collection and are not otherwise available on DVD.)


For sound recordings, we have licensing agreements with ASCAP and BMI that cover public performances on campus.

Creative Commons is an online global resource that anyone can access. It provides free copyright licenses, giving both creators and potential users an easy way to share intellectual property. Creative Commons helps users find textual works, images, videos, music, and other media that has been made available by its creators. Whether for coursework or course development, Creative Commons provides an optional resource to students and educators, especially in situations when it may be difficult to get permissions for, or access to, similar materials. We also have a Library Guide that provides additional resources for free-use images and related media.