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University of Utah Library Guides
All University of Utah libraries course and research guides, in one place.

Digital Public Library of America: Rights and Attribution

A guide to conducting research and using the resources of the Digital Public Library of America


Items in DPLA may still be under copyright. It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate permissions to use items, although if you are a student the Fair Use Doctrine may cover use of items for research and educational purposes. All rights information for resources in DPLA is located in the Rights section underneath the item. 

If you are looking for Permission-Free Resources, click HERE.

Many contributing institutions use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to indicate how you can use the item. CC licenses are unique in that they try to express all the copyright information in user-friendly language. For more information about the licenses, click here.

Many other contributing institutions create their own rights statements. If you have questions about using an item, contact the owning institution; there is a link to the item in the owning institution's collection underneath each item in the URL section.

Examples of Rights Statements:

Materials in the Digital Collections at Atkins Library are provided free for educational use under fair use as outlined by current U.S. Copyright law and accompanying guidelines. Written permission from the J. Murrey Atkins Library or the rights holder must be obtained before using an item for publishing or commercial purposes. (text courtesy of Atkins Library)


The contents of The Portal to Texas History (digital content including images, text, and sound and video recordings) are made publicly available by the collection-holding partners for use in research, teaching, and private study. For the full terms of use, see

(text courtesy of The Portal to Texas History)


Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. (text courtesy of UNC)

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Creative Commons Licenses

  Attribution: This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.

Attribution-NoDerivs: This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

  Attribution-ShareAlike: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

  Attribution-NonCommercial: This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs: This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.


Text and images courtesy of Creative Commons.

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