Open or free statement

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What do you mean by an "Open or free statement"?

Certain sites call themselves open, free, or libre (or variations thereof). This means that, in some capacity, the site claims to offer some or all of its resources for free.

What does "yes", "no", and "fair use" mean?

  • "yes" means we have marked these sites as having an "open or free statement". These include government web sites that declare most of their material is in the public domain.
  • "no" means we could not find an open or free statement.
  • "fair use" is reserved for those governmental sites that do not declare their material to be in the public domain, but stress open use for non-commercial or educational purposes. Since fair use is being made explicit in these cases, we have marked them as such.


The "open or free statement" does not necessarily correspond with the actual openness of the resource. The question we are asking here is: does the site (or organization) identify itself as an open resource? There are varying degrees of openness, and many organizations regard themselves as "open" even if their material is fully restricted under copyright law. In the same vein, some organizations encourage more than fair use of their material under licenses such as the Creative Commons Attribution License---which allows you to copy, distribute, transmit and even adapt the work, as long as you give proper attribution to the author.