creative_commons.jpegFilmmakers must be aware of the origins of resources they choose to use. Music and images, (often downloaded from the internet) are the most commonly 'borrowed' resources, and can only be used with permission from the creator (or owner) of the material. While this can be challenging to obtain, there are many other options for finding legal, copyright-free materials. One place to start looking is in the Creative Commons - a place where artists, musicians, and creators license and share their work provided it is attributed (given credit).

Understanding Copyright:

• Learn more about Canadian Copyright and the Creative Commons at Creative Commons Canada - Learn More

• Great copyright resources (including toolkits) for Canadian artists, musicians, writers, photographers at Vancouver's Artists Legal Outreach

• Also, check out the work of Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor and copyright expert from the University of Ottawa.

Free Resources on the Web:

Note: each website may have different rules for how materials may be used. You should always attribute anything you use - often the preferred form of attribution or credit is stated on the website. It is expected that you will take a moment and familiarize yourself with the expectations of the creators who are willing to share their work.

Links: Culture_is_not_a_crime.jpeg

• Many musicians choose to release their songs under Creative Commons licenses, which give you the legal right to do things like use their music in your videos. Here's where you can find it and how you can use it:
• Creative Commons royalty free music from Dan-O at Royalty Free Music. This site also provides great information on why (and how) you are allowed to use the music, and how it is created.
• Royalty Free Music at
Opsound an 'open sound pool' where Creative Commons musicians share their work.
• Royalty Free Music at
• Free Public Domain Music at Musopen!
• Free Music & Sound Effects at PacDV
• Free Music at FPM – From Moby: this portion of, 'film music', is for independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short.
Public Domain 4U contains recordings of songs that were published prior to 1922 and are now freely available to copy and use. Although the site is a little confusing it links to many other interesting resources such as Public Domain 2ten
• The Internet Archive at
• Images sources at Copyright Friendly Image Sources

• A great search tool for finding Creative Commons images is Compfight