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This guide provides an introduction to U.S. copyright law and associated resources related to education and scholarship.

Online Materials Flowchart

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Finding & Sharing Online Materials


Whenever possible, it is best to link to (or embed) materials, rather than copy and upload them. This both helps with copyright compliance and provides the University Libraries or resource provider with usage statistics.


  • Look for links or buttons within the resources labeled "permalink," "permanent link," or "get link" rather than copying and pasting the URL from your browser's address bar.
  • If this isn't an option, see if UNC's proxy information is included in the URL (such as:
  • Test your link from off campus and using a private browser window or a different web browser
  • Contact the University Libraries if you need help!

Journal Articles

Find known articles or search for articles that you can use through the University Libraries, the Directory of Open Access Journals, or Google Scholar. Many library databases also provide stable links in their records.

Search the following by article title or keyword:


Find ebooks through the library catalog or various Open Educational Resources repositories.

  • Library Catalog - Use the "Persistent Link to This Record" at the bottom of the catalog record or look within the ebook for a stable link to particular chapters or the book as a whole.
  • Browse OER Collections for books that are openly available online.


Streaming a complete film in your course will nearly always require a streaming license.

  • Search the library's streaming video and audio databases to see if we already have access to the film you need
  • Ask your librarian about other possible streaming options
  • Search the internet (e.g. JustWatch) to see if the film is included with a streaming service such as Hulu or Netflix and ask students to subscribe to that service