Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources (OER)

This guide provides information about Open Educational Resources.

Creative Commons Licenses

What Creative Commons licenses do?

The combination of Creative Commons tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law. CC licenses were designed to allow Creators to share their work under certain conditions and these licenses override default restrictions in copyright law.  The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. It is a simple, standardized method to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. A Creative Commons License that allows for the making of Derivative Works (i.e. Open Educational Resources) generally include on of three types of Creative Commons Licenses. Note that “While 'open'…may mean 'without cost', it does not on the other hand, means 'without conditions' as you will need to give Attribution, Share your Derivative work, etc.

CC BY

CC BY

View License Deed | View Legal Code

You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give you credit.

CC BY SA

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Attribution Share-Alike: You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work. AND all Derivative works must be shared under the same conditions that the original author shared with you. You give attribution to original author.

 

CC BY NC

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Noncommercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only.

 

CC BY NC SA

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Noncommercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for noncommercial purposes only. You are forbidden to use your derivative work to make money.

 

CC BY NC ND

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Noncommercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatin copies of your work — but for noncommercial purposes only  — AND only if they give you credit. No Derivative works:  NOT derivative works based upon it.

 

CC BY NO DERIVATIVES

CC BY NO DER

View License Deed | View Legal Code

No Derivative works: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.

Layered Licenses

Taken together, these three layers of licenses ensure that the spectrum of rights isn’t just a legal concept. It’s something that the creators of works can understand, their users can understand, and even the Web itself can understand.

  1. Creative Commons public copyright licenses incorporate a unique and innovative “three-layer” design. Each license begins as a traditional legal tool, in the kind of language and text formats that most lawyers know and love. We call this the Legal Code layer of each license.
  2. The Commons Deed (also known as the “human readable” version of the license). The Commons Deed is a handy reference for licensors and licensees, summarizing and expressing some of the most important terms and conditions. Think of the Commons Deed as a user-friendly interface to the Legal Code beneath, although the Deed itself is not a license, and its contents are not part of the Legal Code itself.
  3. The final layer of the license design provides a “machine readable” version of the license — a summary of the key freedoms and obligations written into a format that software systems, search engines, and other kinds of technology can understand. The standardized way to describe licenses that software can understand called  CC Rights Expression Language (CC REL).

Public Domain OER

Creative Commons provide tools CC0 tool allows licensors to waive all rights and place a work in the “all rights granted” space.The Public Domain Mark allows any web user to “mark” a work as being in the public domain. Placing Intellectual Property in the public domain prevents anyone from copyrighting and benefiting commercially.

Why would you use a Derivative Works License

All content licensed under a Creative Commons License can be Reused or Redistributed (i.e.Shared with others - such as in a Course Pack) without the need to contact the copyright holder.  If you want to modify it in any fashion, you will need to ensure that the license does not contain a No Derivatives Works clause - which prevents others from either Remixing or Revising the content.   You would want to have the right to make Derivative works if you wanted to:

  • Translate a work into a different language
  • Change it to suit local need (e.g. Modify it for learners at different stages of their education)
  • Change formats (e.g. make an audio recording of a text)
  • Mix the content in one OER with the content from another to make something new (e.g. take chapters or articles and put them together in an anthology.)

Creative Commons Expression Language

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

YouTube