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Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Educational materials made freely and legally available on the Internet for anyone to retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute.

What is Creative Commons?

 Creative Commons helps you legally share your knowledge and creativity to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world.

With a network of staff, board, and affiliates around the world, Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work–on conditions of your choice.

The Four Features

The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. These tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work.

ICON ABBREVIATION MEANING
CC BY BY

All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

CC NC NC

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.

CC SA SA

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.

CC ND ND

You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

Information in the above table is from "Licensing Types" by Creative Commons and is licensed under CC BY 4.0

The Six Licenses

The four Creative Commons features (BY, SA, ND, & NC) can be mixed together to create six different licenses. Each license allows the creator to keep their copyright, they are just granting special permissions from the get-go. Each of these licenses requires attribution so that the original creator receives proper credit. We'll start with the least restrictive license, the CC BY, and work our way up to the most restrictive license, the CC BY-NC-ND.

ICON                LICENSE ABBREVIATION MEANING
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.

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

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.

Attribution-NonCommercial
 
CC BY-NC

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, 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.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
 
CC BY-NC-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

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.

Not sure which license you'd like to use? Try the License Builder!

Information in the above table is from "The Licenses" by Creative Commons and is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Creating OER & Combining Licenses