Skip to main content

Copyright at The College of St. Scholastica

Creative Commons Basics

DecorativeCreative Commons is an organization that provides licenses that authors, artists, and creators can use to proactively grant permissions to their works to make them available for public use under certain conditions. The authors or creators still retain the copyright of the work; however, they are providing some permissions upfront - such as the ability to distribute or build upon a work - as long as certain conditions are met. For example, providing attribution to the original author or only using the work for non-commercial purposes.

In addition, the licenses provide an avenue for content users to use works if they meet the conditions of the license. The content user will not need to request permission, pay royalty fees, or think about fair use because the license grants permissions upfront. This provides more certainty for you when using different types of content. 

Common Questions about OER

How do I know if an item is a creative commons item?

All items will be marked with a creative commons license. Items that you may find that others may have used will be marked with attribution to the author and information about the creative commons license. 

About the Creative Commons Licenses

The Creative Commons licenses are as follows:

 

Creative Commons BY LicenseThe CC BY license is the most open of all the creative commons licenses. This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as attribution is given to the author or creator. 

 

Creative Commons BY Share Alike license The CC BY-SA license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as attribution is given to the author or creator and any new creations are licensed with the same license.  

 

The CC BY-ND license allows others to distribute the work for commercial or non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given to the author or creator and the work is unchanged in any way.  

 

Creative Commons BY Noncommercial licenseThe CC BY-NC license requires attribution of the author or creator and can only be used for non-commercial purposes, which works nicely for most educational uses. The license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially; however, they do not need to license any new creations or derivatives under the same license. 

 

Creative Commons BY Non-Commercial Share Alike LicenseThe CC BY-NC-SA license is a bit more restrictive. The license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given to the original author and the new creation is licensed with the same license

 

Creative Commons BY Non-Commercial No Derivatives licenseThe CC BY-NC-ND license is the most restrictive of all the Creative Commons licenses. The license allows others to distribute works as long as attribution is given to the author or creator. In addition, the use can only be for non-commercial purposes and no changes can be made to the work in any way. 

Additional Marks

Creative Commons has a couple additional universal tools available for items that are in the Public Domain. 

 

Creative Commons 0 No Rights Reserved The CC0 license for "No Rights Reserved." This public domain tool should be used by owners of copyrighted works who want to release their works into the public domain and give up all of their exclusive rights to copyright. This allows others from around the world to freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purpose without restriction. This is especially helpful to eliminate any copyrights you may have in other jurisdictions or countries. 

 

Creative Commons No Known CopyrightThe CC Public Domain Mark for "No Known Copyright." This public domain tool should be used by others who identify an item that is no longer copyrighted. This mark should only be used by works that are completely free of copyright restrictions worldwide. 

 

In addition to the above licenses and marks, there is a new symbol that can be found on Create https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/freeworks

Locating Open Educational Resource (OERS) & Other Resources with a Creative Commons License

Try these resources to locate OERs and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Try these resources to locate OERs and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Try these resources to locate OERS and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Questionable Images?

Unsure of where an image came from? Not sure if the image has a Creative Commons license? Try these reverse image search engines to find where the image was first published on the Internet!

Try these resources to locate OERs and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Try these resources to locate OERs and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Try these resources to locate OERs and items with a creative commons license. If you can't find what you are looking for or if you are looking for additional options, try searching for items that are in the Public Domain

Additional Resources

Title: What are Open Educational Resources?
Created by: Rajiv Jhangiani
License: CC BY
Duration: 1:07 mins.

A short video discussing the basics of open educational resources (OERs). 

 

Title: What are Open Textbooks?
Created by: Rajiv Jhangiani
License: CC BY
Duration: 1:06 mins.

A short video discussing the basics of open textbooks. 

 

Title: Open Educational Resources: A Brief Explanation
Created by: Lance Eaton
License: Creative Commons (reuse)
Duration: 6:18 mins.

A short video discussing the basics of open educational resources (OERs) and why to use them.