Copyright Status Filter


This filter lets you search by copyright status, in order to find items that you can use, share, or modify for personal, educational, or commercial use. Select a filter category to see results that match your intended use.

These categories are based on the statements and the Creative Commons licenses, which communicate item copyright status. For more information on individual items, review the associated statement or license, or contact the contributing institution.

Rights Categories

The rights categories, with their corresponding rights statements, are listed below.

Unlimited Re-Use

Items in this category have no known restrictions and may be freely used and modified without permission. Some attribution may be required depending on the specific rights statement applied to the item.

Re-use With Conditions

Items in this category may be used and modified without permission as long as the user complies with stated conditions attached to the item.

  • No Copyright – Non-Commercial Use Permitted (NoC-NC)
  • No Copyright – Contractual Restrictions (NoC-CR)
  • Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC)
  • Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

Re-use, No Modification

Items in this category may be used in their current form without permission, as long as the user complies with stated conditions attached to the item.

  • Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)
  • Creative Commons Attribution NoDerivatives (CC BY-ND)
  • In Copyright – Educational Use Permitted (InC-EDU)
  • In Copyright – Non Commercial Use Permitted (InC-NC)

Permission or Fair Use

Items in this category are in copyright with no restrictions waived (“all rights reserved”). Items may be used by seeking permission from the rights-holder or under fair use (see the ‘More Information’ section for details).

Unspecified Rights Status

Items in this category have not been evaluated for copyright status or their status is uncertain. This category also includes items without an associated standardized rights statement or license (these items may still include copyright information in a free text statement). Users may contact the institution which provided the digital object or the rights-holder for more information. Items in this category which are copyrighted or have unknown rights status may be used by seeking permission from the rights-holder or under fair use (see below).

  • Copyright Not Evaluated (CNE)
  • Copyright Undetermined (UND)
  • No standardized statement with free text rights information

What is “fair use”?

Fair Use (Section 107) is a provision of the U.S. Copyright Law that strives to promote the creation of new culture by balancing public interest in the discovery and production of new works against the rights of the creator of a work. Some rights statements or licenses applied to items in DPLA collections give users explicit permission to use the items in a stated way. Items not explicitly in the public domain, including items falling under the category of Permission or Fair Use or Unspecified Rights Status, can be used with permission from the contributing institution or rights-holder, or if the user determines their re-use is reasonable after a fair use evaluation.

Information for institutions

More information about using and Creative Commons in your own cultural heritage collections can be found at The Rights Portal, a project of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) maintained by the DPLA Rights Statements Working Group. Here you will find implementation and best practices resources as well as a place to connect with other participating cultural institutions primarily based in the U.S. If you have questions or comments about rights statements as found in DPLA collections, please contact the Rights Statements Working Group.