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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources

Copyrights

Copyright is about protecting creators. Whenever someone creates something new, it is their copyrights from that moment of its creation forward. The creator's rights to benefit from that work is protected by copyright law which protects authors from having their works copied without seeking their permission. 

Open educational resources (OER), like all intellectual property, are subject to copyright law. OER creators choose to share their works rather than reserve all of their rights for themselves. Creative Commons allows OER creators to do this within the framework of copyright law. To put it another way, an OER is simply an educational resource that incorporates Creative Commons license to facilitates reuse and adaptation, without the need of first seeking permission from the copyright holder. 

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are legal licenses which help creators to keep copyright while allowing others to retain, reuse, revise, redistribute and remix their work. Creative Commons work together with copyright to permit creators to modify their copyright terms to best suit their needs. 

Most OER are released under CC licenses, which specially allow for uses beyond those normally allowed under copyright law. Essentially, CC twists the traditional copyright model, in which all rights are reserved except those specifically granted. On the contrary, under CC all rights are granted except those specifically reserved. CC materials generally do not reside in the public domain and the creator still keeps legal ownership of the work. This provides a legal mechanism to ensure authors can retain acknowledgement for their work while allowing the work to be shared but restricted for  commercial use if they wish. It can also prevent people from adapting it if appropriate. CC materials, different from traditionally copyrighted materials, can  be legally redistributed to anyone. Also, most CC materials can be revised and remixed before being redistributed. The exact permissions allowed for a particular work depend upon what CC license is actually applied on it.

Open Licensing

Source: "Open Licensing" by Open Oregon is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Licenses offered by Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) offers the following 6 different licenses that allow creators to apply different restrictions to their works. When using a specific CC-licensed work, it is crucial to pay attention to the CC license and its restrictions. Please note that all Creative Commons licenses require attribution.

Attribution (CC BY)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work. All other uses are allowed.

 

Attribution / ShareAlike (CC BY-SA)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work. You are allowed to make changes to the work, but any derivative works you create must also be released under a CC BY-SA license.

 

Attribution / Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work.
You are allowed to change the work, but you cannot use it for commercial purposes.

 

Attribution / Non-Commercial / ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work.
You are allowed to make changes to the work, but you cannot use it for commercial purposes, and any derivative works you create must also be released under a CC BY-NC-SA license.

 

Attribution / Non-Derivative (CC BY-ND)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work,
and prohibits you from making any changes to the work.

 

Attribution / Non-Commercial / Non-Derivative (CC BY-NC-ND)

This license requires you to attribute the source of the work, and prohibits you from
making any changes to the work or using it for commercial purposes.

 

 

Public Domain: It consists of all the creative works to which no exclusive intellectual property rights apply. Those rights may have expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable.


Tool for Selecting CC License

cc_chooser

This Creative Commons license chooser helps you select the appropriate CC license for your work, based on your response to some specific questions about how the work can be used.

Attributing Creative Commons licences

All Creative Commons licenses require that users of the work attribute (give credit to) the creator. Attribution is a similar process to citing academic works in a paper. However, the purpose of attribution is legal that is to follow licensing regulations. When providing attribution to a CC-licensed work, you should include the following:

  • The work’s title (T). If the work is being published on the Internet, it is best practice to link the title directly to the original work.
  • The author’s name (A). If the work is being published on the Internet, it is best practice to link that name to the person’s profile page.
  • The specific type of license (L) the work is under. Linking to the license will allow others to find the license terms.
  • The URL where the work is hosted.

For example: Understanding OER Course by SUNY OER Services, is licensed under CC BY 4.0

 

Guide for Attributing OER

 

Tool for Building Attributions

The following tool can be used to build attributions. As you fill out the form, it will automatically generate the attribution for you. To use this application, you need to gather Title, Author and License (T.A.L) information of the material you want to adopt.