Media and Copyright

All members of the BYU community–faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and patrons–are expected to respect the rights of copyright owners. When copyrighted content is needed, it should be obtained from an authorized source, and all required royalties and other license fees should be paid.

Although BYU does not endorse any particular sources of copyrighted content, the following resources may be helpful to members of the BYU community who are seeking legitimate sources of online content. In many cases, such content may be available at little or no cost for non-commercial, educational projects.

BYU Art & Art History Lib Guide
Canva – List of top free stock image websites.
Flickr Commons
New York Public Library Public Domain Collections
Wikimedia Commons


OmniMusic – Extensive music library to which BYU has a paid subscription; access is limited to individuals with a current Net ID and password.
Fatty’s Music – Music licensing service for multimedia projects. Includes music by many BYU graduates.
Friendly Music – Music licensing platform; YouTube Partner.
Jamendo – Royalty free music by independent artists.
The Music Bed – Licensing source for popular indie music.
Music Dealers –Music licensing platform providing pre-cleared music and custom song creation for content creators.
Song Freedom – Music licensing platform for photographers and cinematographers.
Triple Scoop Music – Indie music licensing platform.

Movies and Television

Digital Hollywood


Association of American Publishers (AAP)
Google Books
Project Gutenberg

FAQs and Other Resources

Legal Sources of Online Content, EDUCAUSE
Respect Copyrights FAQs
YouTube Copyright FAQs

Church Statements Regarding Media and Copyright

  1. “Deceitful acts supposedly veiled in secrecy, such as illegally downloading music from the Internet or copying CDs or DVDs for distribution to friends and families, are nonetheless deceitful. We are all accountable to God, and ultimately we will be judged of Him according to our deeds and the desires of our hearts (see Alma 41:3). “For as [a man] thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7).
    Things as They Really Are, Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, June 2010.
  2. “Church members should strictly observe all copyright laws…”
    Copyright Guidelines, Music Callings and Resources, Official LDS Church website.
  3. “What’s wrong with ‘free’ downloads? The cost is too high.”
    It’s Just a Copy, Right? Janessa Cloward, New Era, February, 2008.
  4. “And downloading certain songs or movies from the Internet violates copyright laws and is dishonest.”
    Internet Café, Arianne B. Cope, New Era, March, 2005.
  5. “Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing or networking enables computer users to download or “share” music or media for little or no cost. Because copyright violations abound, most peer-to-peer file sharing is illegal, especially when computer users trade files with people they don’t know. And most Internet filters cannot block peer-to-peer file sharing.”
    Fighting Internet Filth, Mario Hipol, Liahona, August, 2005.
  6. “Many people rationalize committing “small” acts of dishonesty such as keeping extra change they receive in the grocery store, taking home supplies from the workplace, being less than accurate on tax returns, disobeying copyright laws, and so on.”
    Honesty in Small Things, Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis, Ensign, September, 2003.
  7. Church copyright information and common Q/A located in Section 21.1.12 Church Handbook, Handbook 2: Administering the Church

2014 Annual Copyright Information to the BYU Community

All members of the BYU community are reminded that unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may incur civil/criminal liabilities.

Copyright infringement is the act of exercising, without permission or legal authority, one or more of the exclusive rights granted to the copyright owner under section 106 of the Copyright Law located at Title 17 of the United States Code. These rights include the right to reproduce and distribute a copyrighted work. In the file-sharing context, downloading or uploading substantial parts of a copyrighted work without permission constitutes infringement.

Penalties for those found liable for copyright infringement may be ordered to pay actual damages and “statutory” damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work infringed. For “willful” infringement, a court may award up to $150,000 per work infringed in addition to costs and attorney’s fees. Willful infringement may also result in imprisonment of up to five years and fines of up to $250,000 per offense should the court impose criminal penalties.

Activities such as uploading or downloading unauthorized copies of text, music, videos, games, computer software, or any other material protected by copyright may also incur serious personal consequences such as terminating your university computer privileges or affecting your status at the university. Students and other members of the BYU community should review the BYU Copyright Policy and Repeat Infringer’s Policy, which further describe the consequences of committing copyright infringement.

If you are unsure whether any files you would like to download are legally authorized, review the Media and Copyright information of the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website, or contact the BYU Copyright Licensing Office.
A paper copy of these policies and related information is available on request from the BYU Copyright Licensing Office.
Sept. 2014