Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Open Educational Resources (OERs): Licensing OERs

What are Creative Commons licenses?

Utilising OERs requires a basic understanding of licensing and Creative Commons (CC) as most OERs are licensed using a CC licence. This section will explain CC and how to understand and utilise CC licenses.

Creative Commons (CC) licenses are public licenses created by Creative Commons, a non-profit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. You can use CC licences to tell other people what they are allowed to do with your work and what you can do with others.

Each work is automatically protected by copyright, which means that others will need to ask permission from the copyright owner. CC licenses let creators easily change copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” 

Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.

The above applies to OERs you may distribute to the class. Make sure to check you have a right to use the material by referring to the CC license. Other peoples images, videos, etc. will likely have some sort of CC licence attached to them, which can usually be found on the website where you found the work. Make sure that you check which licence applies to the work and that you have referenced the original work properly. To not do so would be considered plagiarism

Visit the Creative Commons website for more information. 

More Info

The National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in Higher Education has a recorded webinar available which goes through licensing for OERs, available here.