Topic

Resources

Resources

Learning Unit

Creative Commons

Time: 35 min    Goal: Understanding and using creative commons

  • #CC-Licences
  • #Combining Licences
  • #Creative Commons
  • #Learning Material
  • #Licence Types
  • #OER
  • #Open Educational Resources
  • #Open Licences
  • #Resources
  • #Sharing
Time: 5 min

Understanding Open Licences

Open licences provide permission to freely use copyrighted works under the terms and conditions set by the licence.

Creative Commons

Creative Commons licences are the most commonly used licences for sharing open educational resources. Creative Commons is a US based non-profit organization and international network whose aim is to overcome legal obstacles to the sharing of knowledge and creativity to address the world’s pressing challenges.

Creative Commons licences

Creative Commons provides a range of open licences that provide a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; while ensuring proper attribution; and allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

All Creative Commons licences are:

  • Accompanied by a human-readable summary and a licence deed.
  • Applicable worldwide.
  • Backwards compatible – current versions of the licences are compatible with earlier versions.
  • Last for the duration of the copyright of the work.
  • Non-exclusive – copyright holders have the right to share their work under multiple licences.
  • Irrevocable – once a work has been published under a CC license, licensees may continue using it according to the license terms for the duration of applicable copyright and similar rights. Copyright holders may stop distributing their work under the CC license at any time, but anyone who has access to a copy of the material may continue to use and redistribute it under the CC license terms.

Creative Commons licences range from permissive (CC BY) to restrictive (CC BY-NC-ND).

Types of CC license
Types of CC license, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://foter.com/blog/how-to-attribute-creative-commons-photos/

The terms of the licence will dictate how you can use the resources.  For an overview of the different Creative Commons licences see Choosing a Creative Commons Licence (link) and for information about licence restrictions please visit How to use OERs (link)

Public domain and CC0

Public domain resources are no longer under protection, e.g. copyright has expired, or have been actively dedicated to the public for free use, e.g. using the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) designation. 

REFERENCES + LICENSE: The text “understanding open licences” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/understanding-open-licences/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

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Time: 10 min

Choosing a Creative Commons Licence

Creative Commons licences provide a simple and standardised way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works while ensuring proper attribution and allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works. When choosing a Creative Commons licence, you should think carefully about how you want your resource to be used as different licences provide different permissions.

Table which describes the different CC-licenses
Creative Commons Licenses, Foter.com, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://foter.com/blog/how-to-attribute-creative-commons-photos/

If you are considering using a Non-Commercial licence, which will prevent anyone from using your resource for commercial purposes, you may find that applying a Share-Alike licence will meet your needs by ensuring that any new work incorporating yours must also be made freely available under the same licence for others to use and re-mix.

If you are considering using a No-Derivatives licence, it is important to be aware that this will significantly limit how your resource can be reused, as this licence prevents the resources from being altered in any way.  There may be good reasons for choosing this licence, e.g. if the content of your resource could potentially become misleading if it was changed in any way, however we recommend that you think carefully before choosing this licence.

Creative Commons Licence Types

Here is an explanation of what each licence allows, alongside the short hand text and logo images used to mark specific Creative Commons licences.

Creative Commons – Attribution – CC BY

Creative Commons License CC-BY
Creative Commons License CC-BY

A CC BY, or Attribution licence, allows anyone to re-mix, re-use and re-share the work, as long as attribution is provided to the creator.

Creative Commons – Attribution Share Alike – CC BY-SA

Creative Commons License CC-BY-SA
Creative Commons License CC-BY-SA

A CC BY-SA, or Share Alike licence, allows anyone to re-mix, re-use, and re-share, so long as attribution is provided to the creator and any new work is re-shared freely under the same licence. This licence permits commercial use.

Creative Commons – Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike – CC BY-NC-SA

Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-SA
Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-SA

The CC BY-NC-SA licence allows the work to be re-mixed, re-used, and re-shared so long as  attribution is provided to the creator, the work is not used for commercial purposes, and any new work is re-shared freely under the same licence.

Creative Commons – Attribution Non Commercial – CC BY-NC

Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC
Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC

The CC BY-NC, or Non Commercial licence, allows the work to be re-used and remixed, and re-shared, as long as attribution is provided to the creator and the work is not used for commercial purposes.

Creative Commons – Attribution No Derivatives – CC BY-ND

Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND
Creative Commons License CC-BY-ND

A CC BY-ND, or Non-Derivative licence, allows anyone to re-use and re-share the work, as long as credit is provided to the creator, and no changes are made to the original work. This licence permits commercial use.

Creative Commons – Attribution Non-Commercial No-Derivatives – CC BY-NC-ND

Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND
Creative Commons License CC-BY-NC-ND

The CC BY-NC-ND license allows the work to be re-used and re-shared, so long as attribution is provided to the creator, the work is not used for commercial purposes, and no changes are made to the original work.

Creative Commons – Zero / CC0

Creative Commons License Zero / CC0
Creative Commons License Zero / CC0

CC0 is a public dedication tool that means the rights holder has waived all copyright protection rights and placed the work in the public domain. This means the resource can be used for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, without the need for attribution.

REFERENCES + LICENSE: The text “Choosing a Creative Commons Licence for your resource“ by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/choosing-a-creative-commons-licence-for-your-resource/, is licensed under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

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Time: 5 min

Combining Creative Commons licensed Resources

Different licences dictate how you can use and combine resources. If you plan to incorporate an existing Creative Commons licensed resource into a new resource you are creating, you must ensure that you adhere to the licence restrictions. This chart illustrates which licences can be combined.

CC Licence Compatibility
CC Licence Compatibility, CC BY 4.0, Creative Commons, https://wiki.creativecommons.org/wiki/Wiki/cc_license_compatibility
REFERENCES + LICENSE: The text “Combining Creative Commons licensed Resources” by the Interactive Content Team, The University of Edinburgh, via https://open.ed.ac.uk/how-to-guides/how-to-use-oers/, is licenced under CC BY 4.0, shortened by SEA-EU.

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Time: 15 min

More of Creative Commons

If you’d like to know more about Creative Commons, take a look at the official website.

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