"Available" does NOT always mean "open" in the same ways. A creator may choose to share their creation online but still retain exclusive rights to reproduce, distribute, display, perform, and perform that creation and to create derivative works based upon it.
Do not assume that anything / everything you find on the internet is automatically open access.
Always check for copyright or license restrictions! It is your responsibility to verify HOW you may use a work.
Whenever reasonable, opt for linking to resources, as opposed to downloading them and posting them in Blackboard yourself. There are several reasons for this:
If you need a different way to share with your students copyrighted content that lacks a convenient link, for example a scanned book chapter or article, please contact the library about Electronic Course Reserves.
"Open licensing of instructional materials such as textbooks, videos, and other related resources makes possible free sharing and remixing which reduces cost barriers for students. Creative Commons provides the legal infrastructure for easily sharing creative works including instructional materials but how do the different licenses indicate a resource can be re-used. Join us for an interactive session of playbook license scenarios where you test your knowledge of the OER re-use based on license type."
Creators will often use Creative Commons (CC) licenses to specify, in detail, what rights are protected or permitted. They may allow their work to be used, but only in non-commercial ways (not to make money). Or they may require attribution when their work is used.
The graphic below explains the license options, ranging from "Most Free" (e.g., fewest restrictions) to "Least Free" (e.g., most restrictions). Click on the poster for a larger version.
CC licenses overlay, but do not replace, copyright. When an author assigns a CC license (except for CC0), they still retain copyright ownership of their work; they are simply being more generous in permitting use of their work. The exception is CC0 -- this license releases a work for use free of all copyright restrictions.