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Open Educational Resources (OER): Creative Commons Licenses

A look into various open resource content for teachers and students.

CC Licenses Chart

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Creative Commons Symbols

 Creative Commons (cc): Anything with the Creative Commons symbol means that people can use the work since the creator has given access to their work for others to use. The CC symbol is usually paired by one or more of the following symbols below thereby creating a license. Here is an overview of the Creative Commons symbols.

 Attribution (by): If you want to use someone's work, be sure to give credit where credit is due somewhere in your project. When applicable, be sure to ask permission to the creator in order to use it.

  NonCommercial (nc): The work is free to use but not for commercial purposes, as in, you cannot use someone's work to make money off of it for yourself by means of commercial advertisement. Using it for your PowerPoint presentations is okay, however.

 ShareAlike (sa): The work is able to be remixed, transformed, or built upon but if you share it among others, it must retain the same license the original creator of the work placed upon it.

 NoDerivatives (nd): You can distribute and share the work freely but you cannot make any modifications to it. No remixes, transformations, additions, etc. But if you do make modifications, you cannot distribute it. It can only be used by you.

Layers of CC Licenses

The following six types of licenses range from most open to least open. As of November 2013, version 4.0 of the CC license is in effect.

 

  Attribution (CC BY): You can remix, share, and even produce the work commercially so long as you credit the creator.>

 Atrribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): If others take the work that you changed and share it to others they must share the work under the same license as the creator put it. The creator must be credited as well.

 Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): The work can be shared by others but it cannot be changed and remixed and the creator must be credited.

 Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): The work can be shared by others and can be changed and remixed but they cannot use the changed work for commercial use; the creator must also be credited.

 Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): The work can be shared by others and can be changed and remixed but it cannot be used for commercial use, the creator must be credited, and when shared, it must be shared under the same license the creator placed upon.

 Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): The work can be shared by others but it cannot be changed and remixed and cannot be used for commercial use; the creator must also be credited.

Public Domain Symbols

 No Copyright: The work is free to be used without permission, unless otherwise stated by different jurisdictions. It applies to works that have fallen in the Public Domain category when its term of protection expires. For example, in the U.S., works that were published after 1977, copyright stays 70 years after the creator's death. Works that were published 96 years before a year (ex: 96 years before January 1, 2021) will fall into public domain as long as someone connected to the original creator decides not to extend the copyright. Term of protection also depends on medium.  

 Zero (No Rights Reserved): The work is free from any copyright law whatsoever. Creators waive their rights to their work for everyone to use, reuse, remix, etc, although not every jurisdiction will accept CC0 as public domain work.

 Sharing: All public domain works are free to share.

 Remix: All public domain works are free to be reused, remixed, etc.

Legislation

In an effort to make textbooks and other educational materials more affordable, several governments have proposed legislation to support access to and encourage use of OER materials. Information about some recent legislative efforts is listed below:

Affordable College Textbook Act
The Affordable College Textbook Act (H.R. 3840/S. 1864) seeks to reduce the cost of textbooks at U.S. colleges and universities by expanding the use of open textbooks (and other Open Educational Resources) that everyone can use, adapt and share freely.

New Jersey Legislation 

A327 Proposes to require institutions of higher education to develop open textbooks available to students at no charge and requires buyback of used textbooks at 50 percent of purchase price. 

OER State Legislative Guide - Creative Commons
More than a dozen states have passed OER supportive legislation already, and the number continues to grow. This guide includes seven examples