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Open Educational Resources: Creative Commons

A guide to textbooks, course materials and multimedia which are free or or low cost for educational use. These resources were created with the intention of being widely used and are legal to use in courses with proper citation.

Creative Commons Licenses


There are six Creative Commons (CC) licenses.  These CC licenses indicate the use parameters that have been granted by the content creator.  The content creator still owns the copyright to that content, but through the selected CC license the creator is granting re-use of the content under the specified parameters. There is more on the history and uses of CC licenses on the Creative Commons Website.

Open Educational Resources are subject to Creative Commons Licensing.

Creative Commons Licensing offers six following types of license:

  •  Attribution (BY): Allow  to copy, adapt, modify, share the work as long as the original creators are credited for any purposes. 
  •  Attribution (BY)-Share Alike (SA): All rights as Attribution (BY) license and new creations have to be licensed under same terms as the original work. 
  •  Attribution (BY)- No Derives (ND)Allow to copy, share but keep the work unchanged and in whole for any purposes.‚Äč
  •  Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC): Allow  to copy, adapt, modify, share the work for non-commercial purposes only.
  •  Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC) - Share Alike (SA)All rights as Attribution (BY)-Share Alike (SA) license but for non-commercial purposes only.
  •  Attribution (BY) - Non-commercial (NC) - No Derives (ND)All rights as Attribution (BY) - No Derives (ND) license but for non-commercial purposes only

See more in detail at:

Notice: Not all OERs use the same licensing restriction. It is important to check the permissions of the OER before using them to ensure compliance with the terms. 

Disclaimer:  This information on Copyright, Fair Use and Creative Commons Licensing should be read for informational purposes only.  This site nor any of its contents constitute legal advice.  

Public Domain

It is possible as a content creator to relinquish your copyright claim on that creation.  Creative Commons also has a Public Domain or CC0 license that marks a work as completely open; there are no restrictions and the creator does not have to be credited if you re-use this work.


Find out more at the Creative Commons Public Domian page.

Scholarly Communication Librarian