1. Everything is copyrighted.
2. Creative Commons licenses allow you to use works without requesting permission.
3. The type of license determines what you can and cannot do with a work.
4. There are many, many places to look for licensed works. This guide to Finding Licensed Materials from Eastern Michigan University is an excellent start.
5. You can include a Creative Commons license on the works you create to promote sharing of ideas.
Certain types of Creative Commons licensed works are called open educational resources or OERs. Visit my OER guide for more information.
Sometimes people will use the term open access to say that a work is freely available (viewable) on the web. Open Access (OA) is also a movement to make more scholarly or peer-reviewed materials -- ones that are typically very expensive for you or your university library to obtain -- freely available online.
This work by D'Arcy Hutchings is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Note that linked content is covered by its own licenses.
We encourage you to license your derivative works under Creative Commons as well to encourage sharing and reuse of educational materials.