Plagiarism is one of the most common ethical misuses of information.
Random House Webster's Dictionary defines plagiarism as the "use of the language and thoughts of another author and representing them as your own."
George Fox Student Handbook - Academic Honesty
Copyright is the ownership of an intellectual property within the limits prescribed by a particular nation's constitution or international law. The United States Constitution grants copyright protection in Article 1 Section 8.
Copyright is provided automatically to the author of any original work covered by the law as soon as the work is created. The author does not have to formally register the work, although registration makes the copyright more visible.
Copyright was meant to give the author of the work a limited monopoly. The time frame for that monopoly in the United States is the life of the author plus 70 years. If the author is unknown, it is the date of the creation of the work plus 120 years. Works created by federal government employees in the course of their work for the United States government are automatically in the public domain.
The monopoly can be infringed upon under the doctrine of "fair use." Fair Use is provided for under US Code Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 107.
The code allows the use of portions of copyrighted work without permission from the owner if the infringer can show that the majority of four factors do not give more rights to the infringer than the copyright holder.
amount of the original work being used,
the purpose for which the original is being used,
the nature of the original work, and
the effect on the market
Creative Commons Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards a legal and technical infrastructure (a free license system) so that if a copyright holder wishes to share their work their can make explicit the rights they give to the world and the rights they wish to retain.
Copyright Tools Tools for Determining Fair Use, Public Domain, etc.
Student Press Law Center Rights of the journalist spelled out.
YouTube Copyright Information Copyright primer as well as information about YouTube and copyright.
ATLA Overview of Copyright American Theological Association's Quick Reference Guide on Academic Integrity and the Ethical Use of Information
American Memory Archive from the Library of Congress, includes many historical photographs and film stills.
Creative Commons Search Convenient access to search services provided by independent organizations.
Flickr: Creative Commons Search for images on Flickr released for use under a Creative Commons license.
Suggested attribution instructions for images from Flickr
Liam's Pictures from Old Books Almost 3,000 high-resolution images scanned from publi domain books. Includes illustrations, borders, decorative elements, and alphabets.
MorgueFile Stock photography provided free for all uses, including commercial.
NYPL Digital Gallery Images scanned from the vast collection and archives of the New York Public Library.
Public Health Image Library (PHIL) US Dept. of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a searchable database of photographs, micrographs, and illustrations relating to public health
WikiMedia Commons a database of media files to which anyone can contribute with content licensed for reuse