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ILS - Digital Literacy Series – No. 1 Creative Commons – a Brief Overview What are Creative Commons Licences? Creative Commons copyright Licences are used instead of the usual Copyright License that covers products under a country’s Copyright Law. Copyright Law state that all rights are held, or “reserved” by the owner of the copyright; the owner of the copyright might not be the same person as the one who created the product. Under Creative Commons there are a number of different ways of providing copyright which do not have to be “all rights reserved”. These Creative Commons Licences tell people how and under what circumstances they may freely use the product they are interested in.

A Little History The Creative Commons Foundation started in 2001 as a result of work that had previously been undertaken at Duke University in North Carolina, USA. The Mission Statement of the Foundation is: “Creative Commons develops, supports, and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing, and innovation.” The aim of the Foundation being: to help people to make their work available for others to use and build upon without losing the ownership of their own creations. The need for this type of License is demonstrated in the rapid growth of the Creative Commons. One of the six Creative Commons logos can be seen in all sorts of places from education and government documents to pop songs and news items.

The Licenses As mentioned there are six Licenses. The information provided here has been taken from the Creative Commons web site. Examples of when the different licenses might University of Worcester 2011Page 1


be used in education are provided but the decision of which one to use lies with the creator(s). For more detail about the licenses please visit the web page below.

The Licenses (from the CC web site https://creativecommons.org/licenses/) Attribution CC BY This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. Example: This might be used for a simple, straight forward recording of a lecture. Anyone can then use this recording to create an Open Education Resource (OER) (see the OER leaflet for an explanation) for their course. They must say who created the original work. The course might be in another university or it might be a commercial course (i.e. people have to pay for the course) created by a private firm. The users are not obliged to make their use of the recording available outside the course they have created or to license the work in the same way. Therefore, if they choose to make their own work freely available but under the most restrictive license they may do so. Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft� free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects. Example: This might be used for an OER. Other people would be able to change aspects of the OER to make a better fit with their course or their discipline. They must say who created the original work. As above it can be used by a private firm as well as another university. In this case the people who have manipulated the original OER must make the new creation available to others who might also make changes. Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

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Example: In this example your creation can not be changed at all. It may be used in a course which people have to pay for but anyone who sees it can make use of it too. They must say who created the original work. Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work noncommercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms. Example: Let us take an example of an ebook you have written and made available on the Internet. Under this license others may change what you have written or add their own work to the ebook. They must say who created the original work even if they have made many changes. It makes no difference if a commercial firm or another university makes these changes, they must not charge for access to the new version of the ebook they have created. However they do not have to license their work in the same way you have. Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work noncommercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Example: With this license the, as with the above example, other people can change and add to your work. However, in this case they must share the final work with others using the same licence you have used it cannot be sold in any way at all. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially. Example: I think this license is self explanatory. In this example the ebook you had written could not be changed at all by anyone. The work has to be acknowledged as your creation and cannot be sold by anyone, it has to be freely given.

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Creative commons overview2011 11 22  
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