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Copyright: Rights & Licences

Learn more about the basics of copyright and your rights as an author. This guide will help you decide if a work is copyrighted and how you can use it for your research and course.

Can I use it?

You found scholarly or multimedia materials and would like to use it for your personal or academic purposes. Some of the files you can download and edit, others you are not allowed to. 

If the creator has released it in the public domain, it's suitable for most uses. If however, the creator has put a requirement to cite them or use it for any purpose except commercial, then you can use it for your class instruction video or presentation but not for an advertisement.

Legal Matters


In contrast to copyright, under copyleft, the author gives permission to reproduce, copy, or share works bound by the same licensing terms. The term is mostly applied to the software license.

Public Domain

The public domain works are not eligible for copyright protection or copyright protection has expired. In Kazakhstan copyrighted works become public domain after 70 years. These works can be freely used without copyright owner permission or a license fee.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons allows you to register and license your work. Example of the types of licenses.

  • let others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
  • Let others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially
  • Allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you
  • Only allow others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Fair Use

Reproducing and reusing works without copyright holder permission in ways that are considered fair - such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.

There are no fair use or educational use provisions that allow works to be reproduced for educational purposes or make accessible versions such as large print or braille in Kazakhstan. However, most countries that are a signatory of the Bern Convention and WIPO use the following definition of fair use.  

Fair Use allows portions of a work to be used without permission as long as certain criteria are met, and original creator(s) given credit:

  • the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  • the nature of the copyrighted work
  • the amount and substantially of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  • the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.


The term "royalty-free" doesn't equal to "non-copyrighted". The term indicates licensed music/songs without the need to pay royalties to the right owner every time when it is used, but only once when it is purchased.

Rights Scale


copyrigt scale


Image source


types of licences

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