Creative Commons

Traditionally, when anyone creates "anything", they automatically get an "all rights reserved" copyright to their creation. When the creation is something intangible (a creation of the mind) such as music for example, it is automatically protected by intellectual property law, in the same way that "all rights reserved" copyright protects other creations. Creative Commons (CC) is an alternative to this very restrictive copyright protection. CC makes it possible for creators to decide what they want to share (make available in the public domain) and the conditions under which shared creations are made available: as copyright owners, creators can decide what rights to keep and what rights to release so that others can reuse their creation. This Educause resource provides a brief overview of what creative commons is all about.

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  • This WikiEducator tutorial provides a good rationale for CC and Education and does a good job of introducing the various types of CC licenses.
  • The P2PU site also includes a great section that discusses the use of CC licenses and provides an overview of the steps involved in choosing a license.

CC Licenses

Creative Commons licenses allow authors to determine how they want to share their creations. These licenses communicate which rights are reserved (if any) and which rights are waived for the benefit of other creators. Creative Commons licenses do not replace copyright, but are based upon it.

Copyleft symbolCopyleft is a play on the word copyright. Notice how the symbol for copyleft is the reverse of the copyright symbol. As opposed to copyright, copyleft aims make a creation freely available to be modified (not necessarily free of charge) while requiring that resulting creations be free as well.
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This Wikieducator tutorial offers a good explanation of what is free content.

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Web Resources

Here are a few sites where you can find CC materials:

Turning a Learning Resource into an OER

Using CC licensed materials or OER can save you precious time as you work on your course content and provides opportunities to enhance your content with different perspectives or even to build on your content by adding depth and breadth to a learning topic. So, perhaps giving back to the community and contributing your own resources may not be such a bad idea. We encourage you to be active collaborators and contribute to the world of CC. Here's how you can do it: