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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.

Why would you want to add a Creative Commons License to "open" up the restrictions of your copyright?

Status:  Get your name out there as an expert in a field.

Philanthropy: Help make Free Textbooks and Free Supplementary resources available. 

Principle: You believe everyone has a right to a free education, or you want to help make education as easy and affordable as you can.

Peer-pressure: Other institutions are doing it, you don't want to be left out

Generosity: You want to do it for the good of mankind.

Experiential: You like to try new educational methods.

What it means to students and teachers

Materials that have a Creative Commons (CC) License can be used more freely than materials with just a copyright.  

If it has a CC license, you can make multiple copies of whole & unmodified materials, as well as distribute these whole & unmodified materials without needing to get permission from the copyright holder because the CC license legally waives that necessity.  So, go ahead and make multiple copies of a "whole & unmodified" CC licensed article or handout and give a copy to everyone in your class

It gets trickier if you want to modify the material before distribution.  Then you need to check which copyright restrictions are waived by the particular CC license.  When in doubt, ask a librarian

Big Buck Bunny Loves Creative Commons

This 3D animation short film "Big Buck Bunny Loves Creative Commons" was created in order to promote the use of Creative Commons on the volunteer computing based rendering service ( and in any other relevant context.

The film was a production of Studio Lumikuu (
Script & Production: Julius Tuomisto
Graphics & Modeling: Jani Lintunen
Animation & Rendering: Mats Holmberg
Compositing & Editing: Hannu Hoffrén
Big Buck Bunny (c) 2008 Blender Foundation

Big Buck Bunny soundtrack (c) 2008 Jan Morgenstern (this remix track with voice over released
CC-BY under permission from composer)

BBB Loves CC (c) 2012 & Studio Lumikuu Disclaimer: No lawyers with any kind of sense of humour were hurt during the making of this movie. :)

Why anyone can steal our articles thanks to Creative Commons

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