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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.

Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources

Problem: Balance between corporate and community profit can make it hard for students to afford an education.

Open access to information promotes equity.
Image source Pixabay plus Paint edits.

Solution: Creative Commons created a license that would allow copyright owners who wanted to support education the ability to voluntarily give away certain copy rights and protect the people using the gifted rights (from legal danger).


Teachers can make copies and distribute CC licensed works.

Image source Pixabay plus Paint edits.

Of course, not everyone was willing to give away the same rights.  Although just about everyone thought making multiple copies for a classroom full of students should be allowable, some owners didn't want to give up any other rights.  Which is their right, of course.

To try and make everyone reasonably happy, there are now a variety of licenses for a copyright owner to chose from. 

The copyright owners also retain the full copyright on their works, even though they have given some people opened restrictions for certain circumstances.   

When using content with opened restrictions, it is our responsibility to honor the copyright owner's decision as to what opening they have allowed.  Always give attribution or citation information to allow re-searchers to find the original content that you used.  

The more open the Open Educational Resource (OER) - the easier it is to use.

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