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OER: Open Educational Resources

Creative Commons Overview

Creative Commons provides creators with a way to manage the copyright permissions of their works, usually with the specific purpose of allowing the reuse and sharing of their material.  Having a Creative Commons license attached to a work signals to others that specific permissions are granted. CC licenses may be applied to any type of work, including educational resources, music, photographs, databases, government and public sector information, and many other types of material. 

Creative Commons licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. From the reuser’s perspective, the presence of a Creative Commons license on a copyrighted work answers the question, “What can I do with this work?” 

The Creative Commons License Options

There are six different license types, listed from most to least permissive here:


  • CC BY
    This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator


 


  • CC BY-SA
    : This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms


 


  • CC BY-NC
    : This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

     

It includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

 

 


  • CC BY-NC-SA
    : This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms. 

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

 


  • CC BY-ND
    : This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. 

CC BY-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

 

  • CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

CC BY-NC-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

 


CC0 
(aka CC Zero) is a public dedication tool, which allows creators to give up their copyright and put their works into the worldwide public domain. CC0 allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, with no conditions.

 

For information about licensing your own work using Creative Commons, check out this page: https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/

For details about Creative Commons and OER: https://creativecommons.org/category/education-oer/ 

 

Finding Creative Commons licensed works

There are plenty of tools online to help you find Creative Commons resources.

Creative Commons offers a "CC Search" tool to assist you with identifying resources that have a Creative Commons license.

Google and Bing both have filters when searching for images in their advanced search options that let you limit results to Creative Commons resources.

YouTube also has a filter for Creative Commons videos.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.