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OER Background: Creative Commons (CC) - Licensing and OER

DISCLAIMER: Material provided is only intended as a guide. This guide is not a substitute for professional legal advice.

What is a Creative Commons License? A Legal Tool

Creative Commons Licensing gives the copyright owner control of which copy rights they want to waive

An institution like FVTC has a tremendous amount of intellectual capital walking around the halls.  If a faculty member wanted to create a textbook for their classroom, they could use a platform like Pressbooks to create and distribute their document to their students, or members of the general public.

The author is the owner of their content, their own unique personal presentation of facts and ideas.  If they want to give that ownership up to a publisher in exchange for a small fee, that means the publisher gets the rewards of their labor.

If they decide to self-publish, they can charge for their text book, gaining compensation for their time, expertise, and labor.

If they get a grant of money or benefits as compensation, then they may wish to use a Creative Commons License to share their work for free.

With a CC License, they can control just which copyrights they give away, and which copyrights they retain.

The Ideal for Open Education is CC0, which makes the content as sharable as possible, for as long as the content is protected by copyright restrictions. This is as close to Public Domain as the author can make it.

What are Creative Commons Licenses?

Transcript: This video will introduce you to Creative Commons licenses, which makes copyright easier to understand. Let’s say you create something. This thing could be creative, like a picture of your cat, or scholarly, like an essay about cats. Because you are the creator of this picture or this essay, copyright allows you to decide what people can do with your creation. When you are the copyright holder, people have to ask you for permission before putting your cat picture into a powerpoint or adapting your cat essay into a movie.

Getting permission can be time consuming and complicated for both the creator and the user.

This is where Creative Commons can help. Creative Commons exists to make permissions explicit and straightforward. Creative Commons licenses use icons and simple language so that creators can make their intentions clear and users can be certain that their use of a work is legal.

These different licenses help people understand if and how they can use, share, or build on a work.

This (NC) or Non-commercial icon means that only non-commercial uses are permitted, so no one can profit from using your picture.

This (ND) or Non-derivative icon means that no one can make changes to the original work, such as photoshopping a dog into your cat picture.

This (SA) Share Alike icon means that someone can change your work but their version must be shared under the same license as yours.

All Creative Commons licenses REQUIRE that you give credit to the original creator, preserving your reputation as a creative genius while the world engages with your work. Licenses can be attached to most things, including blog posts, images, artworks, journal articles, and more To learn more about Creative Commons licenses, visit the Creative Commons website or check out some of the other videos in our series.

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