DOKK Library

Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians

Authors American Library Association Creative Commons

License CC-BY-4.0

c r e a t i v e   c o m m o n s

   for Educators and Librarians
for Educators and Librarians
      ALA Editions purchases fund advocacy, awareness,
and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.
for Educators and Librarians

     C R E AT I V E C O M MO N S

           CHICAGO 2020
Available in print from the ALA Store and distributors.

© 2020 Creative Commons. Unless otherwise noted, Creative Commons for Educators and Librar-
ians is licensed Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (https://creative

                           This book is published under a CC BY license, which means that you
                           can copy, redistribute, remix, transform, and build upon the content for
                           any purpose, even commercially, as long as you give appropriate credit,
provide a link to the license, indicate if changes were made, and do not impose additional terms or
conditions on others that prohibit them from exercising the rights granted by that license, includ-
ing any effective technological measures.

A digital version of this book is available for download at https://certificates.creativecommons

Extensive effort has gone into ensuring the accuracy and reliability of the information in this
book; however, neither the publisher nor the author make any warranty, express or implied, with
respect to its content. Additionally, this book contains third party content, such as illustrations,
photographs and graphs, that may not be owned by Creative Commons but that is licensed by the
third party under a Creative Commons license. Neither the publisher nor Creative Commons war-
rant that re-use of that content will not infringe the rights of third parties. Reasonable efforts
have been made to identify that content when possible.

No Legal Advice. While this book provides information about the Creative Commons licenses
and public domain tools, as well as best practices for using them, it does not apply this informa-
tion to any specific situation. This book and the information contained therein does not consti-
tute legal advice, nor does using this information create an attorney-client relationship. Please
consult an attorney if you would like legal advice about your rights, obligations, or individual

Suggested Attribution:
“Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians, Creative Commons (https://www.creative,, licensed
under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license (
licenses/by/4.0), published by the American Library Association (”

ISBN: 978-0-8389-1946-0 (paper)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Creative Commons (Organization), author.
Title: Creative commons for educators and librarians / Creative Commons.
Description: Chicago : ALA Editions, 2020. | Includes bibliographical references and index. |
    Summary: “The authoritative source for learning about using creative commons licenses and
    advocating for their use in your academic community”— Provided by publisher.
Identifiers: LCCN 2019027187 | ISBN 9780838919460 (paperback)
Subjects: LCSH: Copyright licenses—United States. | Creative Commons (Organization), | Library
    copyright policies—United States.
Classification: LCC KF3002 .C74 2019 | DDC 346.7304/82—dc23
LC record available at

Cover design by Alex Diaz. Cover image, “Circles” by Asitha De Silva, is a work in the public
domain. Available from Flickr:
  This paper meets the requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).
Printed in the United States of America
24 ­23 22 21 20   5 4 3 2 1
     Preface | vii
     Acknowledgments | ix
     List of Creative Commons Licenses | xi

1   		What Is Creative Commons?
     1.1 The Story of Creative Commons  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

     1.2 Creative Commons Today  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
     1.3 Additional Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

2   		Copyright Law                                                                                                                       13
     2.1 Copyright Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     2.2 Global Aspects of Copyright  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  23
     2.3 The Public Domain  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
     2.4 Exceptions and Limitations of Copyright  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
     2.5 Additional Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34

3   		Anatomy of a CC License
     3.1 License Design and Terminology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  39

     3.2 License Scope . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  45
     3.3 License Types  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  49
     3.4 License Enforceability  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54
     3.5 Additional Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  59

4   		Using CC Licenses and CC-Licensed Works
     4.1 Choosing and Applying a CC License . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61

     4.2 Things to Consider after CC Licensing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  69
     4.3 Finding and Reusing CC-Licensed Work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

- vi - Conte n ts

      4.4 Remixing CC-Licensed Works . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
      4.5 Additional Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  86

5   		Creative Commons for Librarians and Educators
      5.1 Open Access to Scholarship  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  92

      5.2 Open Pedagogy and Practices  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
      5.3 OER, Open Textbooks, Open Courses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  104
      5.4 Finding, Evaluating, and Adapting Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
      5.5 Creating and Sharing OER  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
      5.6 Opening Up Your Institution  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  122
      5.7 Additional Resources  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  126

      Index | 131

was a far-off dream, Creative Commons (CC) began as a rejection of the expan-
sion of copyright. In 1998, Congress passed an Act that extended the term of
existing copyrights by twenty years in the United States. This 1998 extension
was challenged by CC’s founder, Lawrence Lessig, all the way to the Supreme
Court, but the Court upheld the Act. In reaction to this decision, a small group
of lawyers, academics, and culture activists got together to try to make it easy,
simple, and free to share your works on the burgeoning communications plat-
forms of the Internet.
   They couldn’t change copyright law, so they hacked it. Our founders created
a release valve, built on top of the international laws and treaties that govern
   I think it’s fair to say that no one knew just how successful the CC licenses
would be, or how much we would need them as we entered a world where every
single person could be not only a creator, but also a creator of high-quality,
reusable content. The seeds of Creative Commons were planted long before
social media, before ubiquitous smartphones and broadband access, and before
user-generated content platforms. But these seeds set down an essential root
in the open Internet, and offered a powerful tool used by individuals, govern-
ments, NGOs, and corporations to create, share, and remix content.
   Today, there are more than 1.6 billion CC-licensed works hosted on over 9
million websites—including some of the most popular sites on the web. The CC
licenses operate in every country and have been translated into more than 30
languages by communities in more than 85 countries. They have been used to
share every type of content, from photos and videos to 3D models and datasets.

                                                                            - vii -
- viii - Pr e face

The CC license tools are now the global standard for sharing of works for use
and reuse. From Wikipedia, to open access to research and journals, to open
education, to open data, these license tools are an essential element of a more
equitable and accessible knowledge commons.
    Our goal at Creative Commons is to build a vibrant, usable commons of cre-
ativity and knowledge, powered by collaboration and gratitude. By default,
copyright applies to all original content, so sharing under a copyright license
is always a choice. This means we need to help people understand their options,
and how they can use the CC licensing tools to maximum benefit. To do this, we
need people all around the world to be experts in using, contributing to, and
sharing the commons and the open licensing tools that unlock its full potential.
    We know that the best way to help others is to give them the knowledge they
need to help themselves. And we know that CC’s greatest power is sharing—of
knowledge, of culture, and of understanding across cultures and communi-
ties—so for the first time, we literally wrote the book on Creative Commons, and
we are sharing it with everyone. Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians
is a publication of the CC Certificate course content. The CC Certificate is about
investing in people like you: educators, practitioners, creators, open advocates,
and activists all over the world. You’re the ones who everyday help people make
the choice to share and unleash their content so that everyone can benefit from
it. That’s why we created the CC Certificate course, it’s why we’re working with
our communities to translate the course content and train new leaders to teach
it in local languages, and it’s why we’ve made all the content openly accessible
under CC BY—to unlock new uses we haven’t imagined yet.
    We hope this book will help us get a little closer to that goal, and perhaps
help us to grow the global community of experts, and ultimately our collective
power, through shared knowledge and culture.

Ryan Merkley
CEO, Creative Commons (2014­–2019)

we re made possible by the generous support of the following foundations, and
the efforts of many partner organizations and individuals:
   We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, and the William and Flora Hew-
lett Foundation. This project was also made possible in part by the Institute of
Museum and Library Services RE-00-15-0116-15.
   Creative Commons is honored to have been able to work with a stellar group
of organizations and individuals that contributed to the creation, revision, and
refinement of the CC Certificate content and course design, including the Amer-
ican Library Association; the Association of College and Research Libraries;
Canvas LMS by Instructure;; LOUIS Libraries; the Open Textbook
Network; and Pressbooks; as well as the international CC legal community, the
CC Board of Directors, CC staff, CC Certificate facilitators, and CC Certificate
graduates and participants. Visit
about/acknowledgements/ for a list of associated names.

                                                                                          - ix -
                                       List of Creative
                                    Commons Licenses

are available in the public domain. The list below includes the URLs for each CC
license or public domain tool referenced in the figures, so you can easily navi-
gate to the appropriate license.

   •   CC0 1.0 (CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication): https://creative
   •   CC BY 2.0 (Attribution 2.0 Generic):
   •   CC BY 3.0 (Attribution 3.0 Unported):
   •   CC BY 4.0 (Attribution 4.0 International):
   •   CC BY-SA 3.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported): https://creative
   •   CC BY-SA 4.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International): https://creative
   •   CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International): https://
   •   CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0
   •   CC BY-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International): https://
   •   CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0

                                                                             - xi -
                What Is Creative Commons?

a global network and a movement—all inspired by people’s willingness to share
their creativity and knowledge, and enabled by a set of open copyright licenses.
   Creative Commons began in response to an outdated global copyright
legal system. CC licenses are built on copyright and are designed to give more
options to creators who want to share. Over time, the role and value of Creative
Commons have expanded. This chapter will introduce you to where Creative
Commons came from and where it is headed.
   This chapter has three sections:

    1. The Story of Creative Commons
    2. Creative Commons Today
    3. Additional Resources

            Completing the Creative Commons Certificate does not entitle learners to pro-

    !       vide legal advice on copyright, fair use/fair dealing, or open licensing. The con-
            tent in this book and the information that Certificate facilitators share in the Cre-
            ative Commons course is also not legal advice. While you should not share legal
advice with others based on this book’s content, you will develop a high level of expertise
upon completion of this book. You will learn a lot about copyright, open licensing, and open
practices in various communities. Upon finishing this book, you should feel comfortable
sharing the facts about copyright and open licensing, case studies, and good open practices.

- 2 - C HAPTER 1

To understand how a set of copyright licenses could inspire a global movement,
you need to know a bit about the origin of Creative Commons (CC).

    •   Retell the story of why Creative Commons was founded
    •   Identify the role of copyright law in the creation of Creative Commons

What were the legal and cultural reasons for the founding of Creative Com-
mons? Why has CC grown into a global movement?
   Creative Commons’ founders recognized the mismatch between what tech-
nology enables and what copyright restricts, and in response they have pro-
vided an alternative approach for creators who want to share their work with
others. Today this approach is used by millions of creators around the globe.

When did you first learn about Creative Commons? Think about how you would
articulate what CC is to someone who has never heard of it. To fully understand
the organization, it helps to start with a bit of history.

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
The story of Creative Commons begins with copyright. You’ll learn a lot more
about copyright later in this book, but for now it’s enough to know that copy-
right is an area of law that regulates the way the products of human creativ-
ity are used—products like books, academic research articles, music, and art.
Copyright grants a set of exclusive rights to a creator, so that the creator has the
ability to prevent others from copying and adapting their work for a limited
time. In other words, copyright law strictly regulates who is allowed to copy
and share with whom.
   The Internet has given us the opportunity to access, share, and collaborate
on human creations (all governed by copyright) at an unprecedented scale. But
the sharing capabilities made possible by digital technology are in tension with
the sharing restrictions embedded within copyright laws around the world.
   Creative Commons was created to help address the tension between cre-
ators’ ability to share digital works globally and copyright regulation. The story
begins with a particular piece of copyright legislation in the United States. It
                                             W hat I s C r e at i v e C om mon s ? - 3 -

was called the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (CTEA), and it was
enacted in 1998. This Act extended the term of copyright protection for every
work in the United States—even those already published—for an additional 20
years, so that the copyright term equaled the life of the creator plus 70 years.
(This move put the U.S. copyright term in line with some other countries,
though the term in many more countries remains at 50 years after the creator’s
death to this day.)
   (Fun fact: The CTEA was commonly referred to as the Mickey Mouse Protec-
tion Act because the extension came just before the original Mickey Mouse
cartoon, Steamboat Willie, would have fallen into the public domain.)
   Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig (figure 1.1) believed that
this new law was unconstitutional. The term of copyright had been continually
extended over the years. The end of a copyright term is important—it marks the
moment when a work moves into the public domain, whereupon everyone can
use that work for any purpose without permission. This is a critical part of the
equation in the copyright system. All creativity and knowledge build on what
came before, and the end of a copyright term ensures that copyrighted works
eventually move into the public domain and thus join the pool of knowledge and
creativity from which we can all freely draw to create new works.
   The 1998 law was also hard to align with the purpose of copyright as it is
written into the U.S. Constitution—to create an incentive for authors to share
their works by granting them a lim-
ited monopoly over them. How could
the law possibly further incentivize
sharing works that already existed?
   Lessig represented a web pub-
lisher, Eric Eldred, who had made a
career of making works available as
they passed into the public domain.
Together, they challenged the consti-

                 Larry Lessig giving
        FIGURE 1.1
            #CCSummit2011 keynote
     Photo from Flickr:
            Author: DTKindler | CC BY 2.0
               Desaturated from original
- 4 - C HAPTER 1

tutionality of the Act. The case, known as Eldred vs. Ashcroft, went all the way to
the U.S. Supreme Court. Eldred lost, and the Act was upheld.

Enter Creative Commons
Inspired by the value of Eldred’s goal of making more creative works freely
available on the Internet, and in response to a growing community of bloggers
who were creating, remixing, and sharing content, Lessig and others came up
with an idea. They created a nonprofit organization called Creative Commons
and, in 2002, they published the Creative Commons licenses—a set of free,
public licenses that would allow creators to keep their copyrights while shar-
ing their works on more flexible terms than the default “all rights reserved”
approach. Copyright is automatic, whether you want it or not; the moment an
original work is fixed in tangible form, it is protected by copyright. And while
some people want to reserve all of the rights to their works, many others want
to share their works with the public more freely. The idea behind CC licensing
was to create an easy way for creators who wanted to share their works in ways
that were consistent with copyright law.
   From the start, Creative Commons licenses were intended to be used by cre-
ators all over the world. The CC founders were initially motivated by a piece
of U.S. copyright legislation, but similar copyright laws all over the world
restricted how our shared culture and collective knowledge could be used, even
while digital technologies and the Internet have opened new ways for people
to participate in culture and knowledge production. Since Creative Commons
was founded, much has changed in the way people share and how the Internet
operates. In many places around the world, the restrictions on using creative
works have increased. Yet sharing and remix are now the norm online. Think
about your favorite video mashup, or even the photos your friend posted on
social media last week. Sometimes these types of sharing and remix happen in
violation of copyright law, and sometimes they happen within social media net-
works that don’t allow those works to be shared on other parts of the web.

            Watch the short video A Shared Culture by Jesse Dylan to get a
            sense for the vision behind Creative Commons. https://creative
   | CC BY-NC-SA 3.0
                                            W hat I s C r e at i v e C om mon s ? - 5 -

FIGURE 1.2   Growth in the number of Creative Commons-licensed works worldwide

   In domains like textbook publishing, academic research, documentary film-
making, and many other fields, restrictive copyright rules continue to inhibit
the creation, access, and remix of works. CC tools are helping to solve this prob-
lem. In 2017, CC licenses were used by more than 1.4 billion works online across
9 million websites (figure 1.2); since 2017, the number of CC-licensed works has
increased to over 1.6 billion. The grand experiment that started more than fif-
teen years ago has been a success, sometimes in ways that were unimagined
by CC’s founders. (For more information, see the “State of the Commons” at the
Creative Commons website: While other
custom open copyright licenses have been developed in the past, we recom-
mend using Creative Commons licenses because they are up-to-date, free to use,
and have been broadly adopted by governments, institutions, and individuals
as the global standard for open copyright licenses.
   In the next section, you’ll learn more about what Creative Commons looks
like today—the licenses, the organization, and the movement.

Final Remarks
Technology now makes it possible for online content to be consumed by mil-
lions of people at once, and it can be copied, shared, and remixed with speed and
- 6 - C HAPTER 1

ease. But copyright law places limits on our ability to take advantage of these
possibilities. Creative Commons was founded to help us realize the full poten-
tial of the Internet.

As a set of legal tools, a nonprofit organization, and a global network and move-
ment, Creative Commons has evolved in many ways over the course of its history.

    •   Differentiate between Creative Commons as a set of licenses, a movement,
        and a nonprofit organization
    •   Explain the role of the CC Global Network
    •   Describe the basic areas of work for Creative Commons as a nonprofit

Now we know why Creative Commons was started. But what is Creative Com-
mons today?
   Today CC licenses are prevalent across the web and are used by creators
around the world for every type of content you can imagine. The open move-
ment, which extends beyond just CC licenses, is a global force of people commit-
ted to the idea that the world is better when we share and work together. Cre-
ative Commons is the nonprofit organization that stewards the CC licenses and
helps support the open movement.

When you think about Creative Commons, do you think about its licenses? Or
about activists seeking copyright reform? A useful tool for sharing? Symbols in
circles? Something else?

           In addition to giving creators more choices for how to share their
           work, CC legal tools serve important policy goals in fields like
           scholarly publishing and education. Watch the brief video Why
           Open Education Matters to get a sense of the opportunities that
CC licenses create for education.
2Nc-I | CC BY 3.0
                                            W hat I s C r e at i v e C om mon s ? - 7 -

   Are you involved with Creative Commons as a creator, a reuser, or an advo-
cate? Would you like to be one of these?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Today, the CC licenses and public domain tools are used on more than 1.6 billion
works, from songs to YouTube videos to scientific research. The licenses have
helped a global movement come together around openness, collaboration, and
shared human creativity. Creative Commons, the nonprofit organization, was
once housed within the basement of the Stanford Law School, but now has a staff
working around the world on a host of different projects in various domains.
   We’ll take these different aspects of Creative Commons—the legal tools, the
movement, and the organization—and look at each in turn.

CC licenses are legal tools that function as an alternative for creators who
choose to share their works with the public under more permissive terms than
the default “all rights reserved” approach under copyright. These legal tools
are integrated into user-generated content platforms like YouTube, Flickr, and
Jamendo, and they are used by nonprofit open projects like Wikipedia and Open-
Stax. They are also used by formal institutions like the Metropolitan Museum
of Art and Europeana, and by millions of individual creators.
    Collectively, the CC legal tools help create a global commons of diverse types
of content that is freely available for anyone to use. CC licenses may addition-
ally serve a non-copyright function. In communities of shared practices, the
licenses act to signal a set of values and a different way of operating.
    For some users, this means looking back to the economic model of the com-
mons. As the economist David Bollier describes it, “a commons arises whenever
a given community decides it wishes to manage a resource in a collective man-
ner, with special regard for equitable access, use and sustainability.”1 Wikipedia
is a good example of a commons-based community around CC-licensed content.

           For a creative take on Creative Commons and copyright, listen
           to this song by Jonathan “Song-A-Day” Mann about his choice to
           use CC licenses for his music in Won’t Lock It Down. https://www
  | CC BY 3.0
- 8 - C HAPTER 1

   For others, the CC legal tools and their icons express an affinity for a set of
core values. CC icons have become ubiquitous symbols for sharing, openness,
and human collaboration. The CC logo and icons are now part of the permanent
design collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
   While there is no single motivation for using CC licenses, there is a basic
sense that CC licensing is rooted in a fundamental belief that knowledge and cre-
ativity are the building blocks of our culture rather than simple commodities
from which to extract market value. The licenses reflect a belief that everyone
has something to contribute, and that no one can own our shared culture. Fun-
damentally, the licenses reflect a belief in the promise and benefits of sharing.

Since 2001, a global coalition of people has formed around Creative Commons
and open licensing.2 This includes activists working on copyright reform
around the globe; policy-makers advancing policies that mandate open access
to publicly funded educational resources, research, and data; and creators who
share a core set of values. In fact, most of the people and institutions that are
part of the CC movement are not formally connected to Creative Commons.
   Creative Commons has a formal CC Global Network,3 which includes lawyers,
activists, scholars, artists, and more, all working on a wide range of projects and
issues connected to sharing and collaboration. But the CC Global Network is just
one player in the larger open movement, which includes Wikipedians, Mozil-
lians, open access advocates, and many more.
   Open source software is cited as the first domain where networked open
sharing produced a tangible benefit as a movement that went much further than
technology. The Conversation website’s Explainer summarizes other move-
ments (
adds other examples, such as Open Innovation in the corporate world, Open
Data (see the Open Data Commons at, and
Crowdsourcing. There is also the Open Access movement, which aims to make
research widely available; the Open Science movement; and the growing move-
ment around Open Educational Resources.

Creative Commons is a small nonprofit organization that stewards the CC legal
tools and helps power the open movement. Creative Commons is a distributed
organization, with CC staff and contractors working around the world.
                                             W hat I s C r e at i v e C om mon s ? - 9 -

   In 2016, Creative Commons embarked on a new organizational strategy
based on building and sustaining a vibrant, usable commons, powered by col-
laboration and gratitude.4 This is a shift from focusing only on the number of
works out there under CC licenses and available for reuse, to a new emphasis on
the connections and collaborations which happen around that content.
   Guided by that strategy, Creative Commons’ organizational work loosely
falls into two main buckets:

   •   Licenses, tools, and technology: The CC licenses and public domain tools
       are the core legal tools designed and stewarded by Creative Commons.
       While our licenses have been rigorously vetted by legal experts around
       the globe, our work is still not done. We are actively working on technical
       infrastructure designed to make it easier to find and use all the content in
       the digital commons. We are also thinking about ways to better adapt all
       of Creative Commons’ legal and technical tools for today’s web.
   •   Supporting the movement: Creative Commons works to help people within
       open movements collaborate on projects and work toward similar goals.
       Through CC’s multiple programs, we work directly with our global com-
       munity—across education, culture, science, copyright reform, govern-
       ment policy, and other sectors—to help train and empower open advo-
       cates around the world.

Final Remarks
Creative Commons has grown from its home in a law school basement into a
global organization with a wide reach and a well-known name associated with
a core set of shared values. It is, at one and the same time, a set of licenses, a
movement, and a nonprofit organization. We hope this chapter has helped give
you a sense of what the organization does and, even more importantly, how you
can join us in our work.


   •   “How I Lost the Big One,” by Lawrence Lessig.
          Lawrence Lessig describes the details of the Eldred case: http://www

- 10 - CHAPTER 1

   •   Excerpt from Free Culture, by Lawrence Lessig. CC BY-NC 1.0.
          This is an excerpt that provides more background on the Eldred vs.
          Ashcroft case:


   •   Why Open Education Matters, by David Blake @ Degreed. CC BY 3.0.
         This is a brief video that explains how open education is enabled by the
         Internet, why it is valuable for the global community, and how Creative
         Commons licenses enable open education: https: //

   •   “We Copy like We Breathe,” by Cory Doctorow.
         This is a keynote address that explains copying and how the Internet
         has changed the space of copying. It frames the need for adequate licens-
         ing as we copy and share online:

   •   “We Need to Talk about Sharing,” by Ryan Merkley @ Creative Commons.
       CC BY-SA 3.0.
          This is a brief discussion about the value of sharing, how sharing can
          improve communities, and how Creative Commons enables sharing:


   •   How Does the Commons Work, by the Next System Project, adapted from
       Commoning as a Transformative Social Paradigm. CC BY 3.0.
          This video, adapted from the economist David Bollier’s explanation
          of what a commons is, explains how a commons works and describes
          threats to the commons:

   •   “The Commons Short and Sweet,” by David Bollier. CC BY 3.0.
          This is a brief blog post explanation of a commons, some problems of
          a commons, and what enables a commons to occur:

   •   The Wealth of the Commons: A World beyond Market and State, by David
       Bollier and Silke Helfrich. CC BY-SA 3.0.
          This book seeks many voices to gather descriptions of what types of
          resources exist in the commons, the geographic circumstances relating
                                             W hat I s C r e at i v e C om mon s ? - 11 -

         to the commons, and the political relevance of the commons: http://

  •   “Enclosure,” Wikipedia article. CC BY-SA 3.0.
         This is an article describing enclosure, which is an issue that presents
         itself in a commons:

  •   “The Political Economy of the Commons,” by Yochai Benkler. CC BY 3.0.
         This is a brief article that explains how a common infrastructure can
         sustain the commons:

  •   “The Tragedy of the Commons,” by Boundless and Lumen Learning.
         This is a section of an economics course textbook that explains the
         economic principles underlying potential threats to the commons:

  •   “Debunking the Tragedy of the Commons,” by On the Commons. CC BY-SA
           This is a short article describing how the “tragedy” of the commons can
           be overcome:

  •   “Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing a Commons,” by On the
      Commons. CC BY-SA 3.0.
          This is a short history of the economist Elinor Ostrom and the eight
          principles that she has established for managing a commons: http://



  •   Free Culture Game, by Molle Industria. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
         This is a game to help understand the concept of free culture: http://
- 12 - CHAPTER 1

Participants’ Recommended Resources
CC Certificate participants have recommended many additional resources
through annotations on the Certificate website. While Creative
Commons has not vetted these resources, we wanted to highlight the partici-
pants’ contributions here:

   1. David Bollier, “The Commons, Short and Sweet,” David Bollier (blog), July 15, 2011, CC BY 3.0.

   2. While other custom open copyright licenses have been developed in the past, we
      recommend using Creative Commons licenses because they are up-to-date, free to
      use, and have been broadly adopted by governments, institutions, and individuals
      as the global standard for open copyright licenses.

   3. The work of the CC Global Network is organized into what we call “Network
      Platforms”; think of them as working groups. Anyone interested in working on
      a Platform can join and contribute as much or as little time and effort as they
      choose. Read more about our Network Platforms at https://creative to see if there
      is an area of work that interests you. If interested, please get involved!

   4. For more information on this policy, see
                                               Copyright Law

on top of it. The default of “all rights reserved” copyright means that all rights
to copy and adapt a work are reserved by the author or creator (with some
important exceptions that you will learn about shortly). By contrast, Creative
Commons licenses adopt a “some rights reserved” approach, enabling authors
or creators to free up their works for reuse by the public under certain condi-
tions. To understand how Creative Commons licenses work, it is important that
you have a basic understanding of copyright.
   This chapter has five sections:

    1.   Copyright Basics
    2.   Global Aspects of Copyright
    3.   The Public Domain
    4.   Exceptions and Limitations of Copyright
    5.   Additional Resources

   This chapter is important because Creative Commons licenses and public
domain tools depend on copyright in order to work. While some aspects of
copyright law have been harmonized around the world, the laws of copyright
generally vary—sometimes dramatically—from country to country. The infor-
mation contained in this chapter is not intended to be exhaustive or to cover all
aspects of the complex laws of copyright around the world, or even every aspect
of copyright that may impact how the CC licenses operate in a particular situ-

                                                                             - 13 -
- 14 - CHAPTER 2

ation. It is intended to provide an overview of the basic concepts that are most
important for an understanding of how Creative Commons licenses operate.

Is copyright confusing to you? Let’s get some clarity by understanding its his-
tory and purpose.

Why do we have laws that restrict the copying and sharing of creative work?
(Note: A “creative work” can be anything that is an original work. These can
range from novels, poems, and plays to movies, TV shows, and videos; to songs
and other musical compositions; to paintings, drawings, and sculptures; to all
sorts of books, articles, and essays; computer programs; cartoons and comic
books; and even the drawings our children make and our own jottings on a nap-
kin. Anything we write, film, or record is a “creative work” as long as it is an
original product and is fixed in a tangible form or medium.) And how do laws
that restrict the copying of creative work function in the context of the Internet,
where nearly everything we do involves making a copy?
   Copyright law is an important area of law, one that reaches into nearly
every facet of our lives, whether we know it or not. Aspects of our lives that in
some instances are not regulated by copyright—like reading a physical book—
become regulated by copyright when technology is used to share the same book
by posting it to the Internet. Because almost everything we do online involves
making a copy, copyright has become a regular feature in our lives.

   •   Trace the basic history of copyright
   •   Explain the purpose of copyright
   •   Explain how copyright is automatic
   •   Explain general copyright terms

Think back to a time when you invested significant effort in a creative project.
What was your motivation for doing so? Did you know at the time that you were
creating a work which is very likely protected by copyright, which restricts
most reuses of that work by others without your permission? Did knowing that,
or would knowing that, have made a difference to you? If so, why?
                                                           C op yr igh t L aw - 15 -

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
You might not realize it, but copyright law is as integral to your daily life as
local traffic laws. Copyright law is the area of law that limits how others may
use the original works of authors (or creators, as we often call them)—works
spanning the spectrum from novels and operas, to cat videos, to scribbles on a
   Although copyright laws vary from country to country, there are certain
commonalities among these laws globally. This is largely due to international
treaties. These treaties are explained in detail in section 2.2 “Global Aspects of
   There are some important fundamentals you need to be aware of regarding
what is copyrightable, as well as who controls the rights and can grant permis-
sion to reuse a copyrighted work.

    1. Copyright grants a set of exclusive rights to creators, which means that
       no one else can copy, distribute, perform, adapt, or otherwise use their
       work in violation of those exclusive rights. This gives creators the means
       to control the use of their works by others, thereby incentivizing them
       to create new works in the first place. The person who controls the rights,
       however, may not always be the author. It is important to understand
       who controls the exclusive rights granted by copyright in order to under-
       stand who has authority to grant permissions to others to reuse the work
       (e.g., by adding a CC license to the work). For example:

         •   Work created in the course of your employment may be subject to
             differing degrees of employer ownership based on your jurisdiction.
             Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States adhere
             to some form of a doctrine commonly known as “work for hire.” This
             doctrine generally provides that if you have created a copyrightable
             work within the scope of your employment, the employer is the
             owner of, and controls the economic rights in the copyrighted work,
             even though you are the author and may retain your moral rights.
         •   Independent contractors may or may not own and control copyright
             in the works they create in that capacity—this determination almost
             always depends on the terms of the contract between you and the
             organization that engaged you to perform the work, even though
             you are the author and may have moral rights.
         •   Teachers, university faculty, and learners may or may not own and
             control copyright in the works they create in those capacities—that
- 16 - CHAPTER 2

             determination will depend on certain laws (such as work for hire in
             some instances) and on the terms of the employment or contractor
             agreement, university or school policies, and terms of enrollment
             at the particular institution, even though they are the creators and
             may have moral rights.
         •   If you have co-created an original work that is subject to copyright,
             you may be a joint owner, not an exclusive owner, of the rights
             granted by copyright law. Joint ownership generally allows all
             owners to exercise the exclusive rights granted by law, but requires
             the owners to be accountable to one another for certain uses they
             make of their joint work.
         •   Ownership and control of the rights afforded by copyright laws
             are complicated. For more information, please see the “Additional
             Resources” section at the end of this chapter.

    2. Copyright does not protect facts or ideas themselves, only the expression
       of those facts or ideas. This may sound simple, but unfortunately it is
       not. The difference between an idea and the expression of that idea can
       be tricky, but it’s also extremely important to understand. While copy-
       right law gives creators control over the expression of an idea, it does not
       allow the copyright holder to own or exclusively control the idea itself.
    3. As a general rule, copyright is automatic the moment a work is fixed in a
       tangible medium. For example, you have a copyright as soon as you type
       the first stanza of your poem or record a song in most countries. Regis-
       tering your copyright with a local copyright
       authority allows you to officially record your
       authorship, and in some countries this may be         !  NOTE The combi-
                                                                nation of very long
       necessary to enforce your rights or might pro-     terms of copyright pro-
       vide you with certain other advantages. But        tection with automatic
                                                          entry into the copyright
       generally speaking, you do not have to register    system has created
       your work to become a copyright holder.            a massive amount of
    4. Copyright protection lasts a long time. We         “orphan works”—copy-
                                                          righted works for which
       will say more about this later, but for now it’s
                                                          the copyright holder is
       enough to know that copyright lasts a long time,   unknown or impossible
       often many decades after the creator dies.         to locate.
                                                            C op yr igh t L aw - 17 -

Arguably, the world’s most important early copyright law was enacted in 1710
in England: the Statute of Anne, “An act for the encouragement of learning, by
vesting the copies of printed books in the authors or purchasers of such copies,
during the times therein mentioned.”1 This law gave book publishers fourteen
years of legal protection from the copying of their books by others.
    Since then, the scope of the exclusive rights granted under copyright has
expanded. Today, copyright law extends far beyond books to cover nearly any-
thing with even a fragment of creativity or originality created by humans.
    Additionally, the duration of the exclusive rights has also expanded. Today,
in many parts of the world, the term of copyright granted an individual creator
is the life of the creator plus an additional fifty years. See the “Worldwide Map
of Copyright Term Length” (figure 2.3) in section 2.2 “Global Aspects of Copy-
right” (below) for more details about the duration of copyright and its vari-
ances worldwide.
    And finally, since the Statute of Anne, copyright treaties have been signed
by many countries. The result is that copyright laws have been harmonized to
some degree around the world. You will learn more about the most important
treaties and how copyright laws work around the world in section 2.2.

There are two primary rationales for copyright law, though rationales do vary
among legal traditions. The two rationales are:

   •   Utilitarian: Under this rationale, copyright is designed to provide an
       incentive to creators. The aim is to encourage the creation of new works.
   •   Author’s rights: Under this rationale, copyright is primarily intended
       to ensure attribution for authors and preserve the integrity of cre-
       ative works. The aim is to recognize and protect the deep connection
       that authors have with their creative works. (You can learn more about
       author’s rights in the “Additional Resources” section at the end of this

   While different legal systems identify more strongly with one or the other of
these rationales, or have other justifications particular to their legal traditions,
many copyright systems are influenced by and draw from both rationales (due,
in large part, to historical reasons that are outside the scope of this material).
- 18 - CHAPTER 2

Do one or both of these justifications resonate with you? What other reasons
do you believe support or don’t support the granting of exclusive rights to the
creators of original works?
   Drawing on the author’s rights tradition, most countries also have moral
rights that protect, sometimes indefinitely, the bond between authors and their
creative output. Moral rights are distinct from the rights granted to copyright
holders to restrict others from economically exploiting their works, but they
are closely connected.
   The two most common types of moral rights are the right to be recognized as
the author of the work (known traditionally as the “right of paternity”) and the
right to protect the work’s integrity (generally, the right to object to distortion of
or the introduction of undesired changes to the work).
   Not all countries have moral rights, but in some parts of the world they are
considered so integral that they cannot be licensed away or waived by creators,
and they last indefinitely.

Copyright applies to works of original authorship, which means works that are
unique and not a copy of someone else’s work, and most of the time this requires
the works’ fixation in a tangible medium (written down, recorded, saved to your
computer, etc.).
   Copyright law establishes the basic terms of use that apply automatically to
these original works. These terms give the creator or owner of copyright cer-
tain exclusive rights, while also recognizing that users have certain rights to
use these works without the need for a license or permission.

What’s copyrightable?
In countries that have signed on to the major copyright treaties described in
more detail in section 2.2, copyright exists in the following general categories
of works, though sometimes special rules apply on a country-by-country basis.
A specific country’s copyright laws almost always further specify different

            Watch Copy (aka copyright) Tells the Story of His Life from
            #FixCopyright for a short history of copyright and its relation
            to creativity and sharing.
            DecJ6jc | CC BY 3.0
                                                           C op yr igh t L aw - 19 -

types of works within each category. Can you think of a type of work within
each category?

   •   Literary, artistic, musical, and dramatic works
   •   Translations, adaptations, arrangements, and alterations of literary,
       artistic, and musical works
   •   Collections of literary and artistic works2
   •   Additionally, depending on the country, original works of authorship
       may also include, among others:
           »» Applied art and industrial designs and models

           »» Computer software

What are the exclusive rights granted?
Creators who have copyright have exclusive rights to control certain uses of
their works by others, such as the following (note that other rights may exist
depending on the country):

   •   to make copies of their works
   •   to publicly perform and communicate their works to the public, includ-
       ing via broadcast
   •   to make adaptations and arrangements of their works (Adaptations can
       include translations.)

This means that if you own the copyright to a particular book, no one else can
copy or adapt that book without your permission (with important caveats,
which we will get to later in section 2.3 “Global Aspects of Copyright”). Keep in
mind that there is an important difference between being the copyright holder
of a novel and controlling how a particular authorized copy of the novel is used.
While the copyright owner owns the exclusive rights to make copies of the novel,
the person who owns a particular physical copy of that novel can generally do
what they want with it, such as loan it to a friend or sell it to a used bookstore.
   One of the exclusive rights of copyright is the right to adapt a work. An adap-
tation (or a “derivative work,” as it is sometimes called) is a new work based
on a preexisting work. In some countries, the term derivative work is used to
describe changes that include but are not limited to “adaptations” as described
in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works,
which uses both of these terms in different articles. For the purposes of this
book and for understanding how CC licenses and public domain tools work, the
terms derivative work and adaptation are interchangeable and denote a work
- 20 - CHAPTER 2

that has been created from a preexisting work through changes that can only be
made with the permission of the copyright holder. It is important to note that
not all changes to an existing work require permission. Generally, a modifica-
tion rises to the level of an adaptation or derivative when the modified work
is based on the prior work and manifests sufficient new creativity to be copy-
rightable, such as a translation of a novel from one language to another, or the
creation of a screenplay based on a novel.
    Copyright owners often grant permission to others to adapt their work.
Adaptations are entitled to their own copyright, but that protection only
applies to the new elements that are particular to the adaptation. For example,
if the author of a poem gives someone permission to make an adaptation, that
person may rearrange stanzas, add new stanzas, and change some of the word-
ing, among other things. Generally, the original author retains all copyright in
the elements of the poem that remain in the adaptation, and the person adapting
the poem has a copyright in their new contributions to the adapted poem. Cre-
ating a derivative work does not eliminate the copyright held by the creator of
the preexisting work.

A special note about additional exclusive rights
There are two other categories of rights that are important to understand
because the rights are licensed and referenced by Creative Commons licenses
and public domain tools:

   •   Moral rights: As mentioned above, moral rights are an integral feature of
       many countries’ copyright laws. These rights are recognized in Article
       6bis of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic
       Works—described in more detail in section 2.2—and are integrated in the
       laws of all treaty signatories to some extent. Creative Commons licenses
       and legal tools account for these moral rights, and the reality is that they
       cannot be waived or licensed in many countries, even though other exclu-
       sive economic rights are waivable or licensable.
   •   Similar and related rights (including rights known in many countries as
       “neighboring rights”): Closely related to copyright are similar and related
       rights. These are rights that relate to copyrighted works and grant addi-
       tional exclusive rights beyond the basic rights granted authors that were
       described above. Some of these rights are governed by international trea-
       ties, but they also vary country by country. Generally, these rights are
                                                           C op yr igh t L aw - 21 -

     designed to give some “copyright-like” rights to those who are not them-
     selves the author but are involved in communicating the work to the public,
     for example, broadcasters and performers. Some countries like Japan have
     established these rights as part of copyright itself, while other countries
     treat these rights separately from, though closely related to, copyright.
          »» The term Similar Rights is used to describe these similar and

             related rights in CC licenses and CC0, as you will learn in the next
             chapter in section 3.2.
          »» An in-depth discussion of these rights is beyond the scope of this

             unit. What is important to be aware of is that they exist, and that
             Creative Commons licenses and public domain tools cover these
             rights, thereby allowing those who have such rights to use CC tools
             to give the public permission to use works in ways that would oth-
             erwise violate those rights.

Does the public have any right to use copyrighted works that do not violate the
exclusive rights of creators?
All countries that have signed on to major international treaties grant the public
some rights to use copyrighted works without permission, and without violat-
ing the exclusive rights given creators. These are generally called “exceptions
and limitations” to copyright. Many countries itemize the specific exceptions
and limitations on which the public may rely, while some countries have flex-
ible exceptions and limitations such as the concept of “fair use” in the United
States, “fair dealing” in some Commonwealth countries, and education-spe-
cific exceptions and limitations in many other parts of the world, including
the Global South. Exploring these concepts in detail is reserved for section 2.4
“Exceptions and Limitations of Copyright.” What is important to know is that
copyright law does not require permission from the creator for every use of
a copyrighted work—some uses are permitted as a matter of copyright policy,
which balances the sometimes competing interests of the copyright owner and
the public.

What else should I know about copyright?
As noted at the beginning of this chapter, copyright is complex and varies
around the world. This chapter serves as a general introduction to its central
concepts. There are some concepts, such as (1) liability and remedies, (2) licens-
ing and transfer, and (3) termination of copyright transfers and licenses, that
- 22 - CHAPTER 2

you should be aware of because you are likely to encounter them at some point.
You will find a comprehensive explanation of these concepts in the “Additional
Resources” section at the end of this chapter.

Distinguishing Copyright from Other Types
of Intellectual Property
Intellectual property is the term used for rights—established by law—that
empower creators to restrict others from using their creative works. Copyright
is one type of intellectual property, but there are many others. To help under-
stand copyright, it is important to have a basic understanding of at least two
other types of intellectual property rights and the laws that protect those rights.

   •   Trademark law generally protects the public from being confused about
       the source of a good, service, or establishment. The holder of a trademark
       is generally allowed to prevent uses of its trademark by others if the pub-
       lic will be confused. Examples of trademarks are the golden arches used
       by McDonald’s and the brand name Coca-Cola. Trademark law helps pro-
       ducers of goods and services protect their reputation, and it protects the
       public by giving them a simple way to differentiate between similar prod-
       ucts and services.
   •   Patent law gives inventors a time-limited monopoly to their inventions—
       things like mousetraps or new mobile phone technology. Patents typically
       give inventors the exclusive right to make, have made, use, have used,
       offer for sale, sell, have sold, or import patentable inventions.

   Other types of intellectual property rights include trade secrets, publicity
rights, and moral rights, to give just a few examples.

Final Remarks
Digital technology has made it easier than ever to copy and reuse works that
others have created, and it has made it easier than ever to create and share your
own work. In short, copyright is everywhere. Since nearly every use of a work

             For a brief introduction to the different types of intellectual
             property, watch the three-minute video How to Register a Trade-
             mark (Canada): Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights – What’s the
             Difference? | CC BY 3.0
                                                               C op yr igh t L aw - 23 -

online involves making a copy, copyright law plays a role in nearly everything
we do online.

Copyright laws vary from country to country, yet we operate in a world where
media is global. Over time, there has been an effort to standardize copyright
laws around the globe.

                                                                  FIGURE 2.1   “MG_0033”
                           Photo from Flickr:
                                    Author: pedist | CC BY 2.0 | Desaturated from original

   •   Learn how the copyright laws of your country may differ from those of
       other countries
   •   Identify major international treaties and efforts to harmonize copyright
       laws around the world

Although copyright laws differ from country to country, the Internet has made
global distribution and sharing of copyrightable works possible with just the
click of a button. What does this mean for you, when you share your works on
the Internet and use works published by others outside your country? What
- 24 - CHAPTER 2

law applies to a video taken by someone from India during their travels in
Kenya and then posted to YouTube? What about when that video is watched or
downloaded by someone in Canada?
   Copyright law is locally implemented by every country around the world. In
an effort to minimize complexity, efforts have been undertaken to harmonize
some of the basic elements of how copyright works across the globe.

When you publish or reuse something online, have you ever thought about
what law applies to you? Does it make sense to you that different people should
have different limits to what they can do with your work based on their geo-
graphic location? Why or why not?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge:
Introduction to the Global Copyright System
Every country has its own copyright laws, but over the years there has been
extensive global harmonization of copyright laws through treaties and multi-
lateral and bilateral trade agreements. These treaties and agreements establish
minimum standards for all participating countries, which then enact or amend
their own laws in order to conform to the agreed-upon limits. This system
leaves room for local variations.
   These treaties and agreements are negotiated in various forums: the World
Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization
(WTO), and in private negotiations between countries.
   One of the most significant international agreements on copyright law is
the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (the
“Berne Convention”), concluded in 1886. The Berne Convention has since been
revised and amended on several occasions. WIPO serves as the administrator
of the treaty and its revisions and amendments, and is the depository for offi-
cial instruments of accession to and ratification of the treaty. Today, 177 coun-
tries (as of October 17, 2019) have signed the Berne Convention. This treaty (as
amended and revised) lays out several fundamental principles upon which all
the participating countries have agreed. One of these principles is that copy-
right must be granted automatically—that is, there must be no legal formalities
required to obtain copyright protection (for example, the national laws of the
signatories cannot require you to register or pay for your copyright as a con-
                                                                 C op yr igh t L aw - 25 -

                                         FIGURE 2.2 World map showing the parties
dition for receiving copyright                        to the Berne convention, 2012
protection). In general, the              The signatories of the Berne Convention for the
Berne Convention as revised           Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, as of 2012
and amended also requires             Figure from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons
that all countries give foreign
                                                 CC BY-SA 3.0 | Desaturated from original
works the same protection
they give to works created within their borders, assuming the other country
is a signatory. Figure 2.2 is a map showing (in dark gray) the signatories to the
Berne Convention as of 2012.
    Additionally, the Berne Convention sets minimum standards—default
rules—for the duration of copyright protection for creative works, though
some exceptions exist, depending on the subject matter. The Berne Con-
vention’s standards for copyright protection dictate a minimum term of
the life of the author plus 50 years. Because the Berne Convention sets mini-
mums only, several countries have established longer terms of copyright
for individual creators, such as “life of the author plus 70 years” or “life of
the author plus 100 years.” You can review the Wikipedia article on “Copy-
right Term” (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0, available at
wiki/Copyright_term) and view the page that lists the duration of copyright
based on country (also licensed CC BY-SA 3.0, available at The map in figure 2.3
shows the status of copyright duration around the world as of 2012.
    In addition to the Berne Convention, several other international agreements
have further harmonized copyright rules around the world.3
- 26 - CHAPTER 2

FIGURE 2.3   Worldwide map of copyright term length
Figure from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons
Author: Balfour Smith, Canuckguy, Badseed, Martsniez
Original image by Balfour Smith at Duke University
CC BY 3.0 | Desaturated from original

Although an international framework exists because of the Berne Conven-
tion and other treaties and agreements, copyright law is actually enacted and
enforced through national laws. Those laws are supported by national copy-
right offices, which in turn support copyright holders, allow for registration,
and provide interpretative guidance. As mentioned, while there has been
a major effort to create minimum standards for copyright across the globe,
countries still have a significant amount of discretion as to how they meet the
requirements imposed by the various treaties and agreements. This means that
the details of copyright law still vary quite a bit from country to country.

Which nation’s law applies to my use of a work restricted by copyright?
A common question of copyright creators and users of their works is which
nation’s copyright law applies to a particular use of a particular work. Gener-
ally, the rule of territoriality applies: national laws are limited in their reach
to activities taking place within that country. This also means that generally
speaking, the law of the country where a work is used applies to that particular
                                                           C op yr igh t L aw - 27 -

use. If you are distributing a book in a particular country, then the law of the
country where you are distributing the book generally applies.
   This is true even in the era of the Internet, though it is much harder to apply.
For example, if you are a Canadian citizen traveling to Germany and using a
copyrighted work in your PowerPoint presentation, then German copyright
law normally applies to your use.
   It can be complicated to determine which national law applies in any given
case. This complexity is one of the benefits of Creative Commons licenses, which
are designed to be enforceable everywhere.

Final Remarks
Even though global copyright treaties and agreements exist, there is no one
“international copyright law.” Different countries have different standards for
what is protected by copyright, how long copyright lasts and what it restricts,
and what penalties apply when it is infringed.

The “public domain” consists of creative works that are not subject to copy-
right. This is the enormous pool of publicly available material which circulates
freely, and from which new creative works and knowledge may be built. Figure
2.4 shows a still from the 1902 French film Le Voyage dans la lune (A Trip to the
Moon), which is now in the public domain.

                       FIGURE 2.4
    A still from the 1902 film
     Le Voyage dans la Lune
         (A Trip to the Moon)
Image from Wikimedia Commons:
           Author: Georges Méliès
      A work in the public domain
- 28 - CHAPTER 2

   •   Explain what the public domain is
   •   Communicate the value of the public domain

Why is it important that works eventually fall out of copyright? Are there any
works that do not qualify for copyright protection and may be freely used?
    A critical aspect of copyright law is that the protection it provides does not
last forever. After a set term, the copyright expires and the work enters the pub-
lic domain for everyone to copy, adapt, and share. Likewise, there are certain
types of works that fall outside the scope of copyright.

Have you ever seen ancient Egyptian sculptures in real life? Have you ever lis-
tened to a Beethoven symphony? Have you ever read Tolstoy’s novel War and
Peace? These works are in the public domain. What other public domain works
have you enjoyed in your lifetime? Have you ever created something new using
a work in the public domain?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Despite the expansive reach of copyright, there is still a rich (and growing) pub-
lic domain full of works which are free from copyright. Works enter the public
domain in one of four ways:

    1. The copyright expires.
        While copyright terms are longer than ever before, they are not in­fi-
        nite. In most countries, the term of an individual’s copyright expires
        50 years after her death. In some countries, the term is longer and can
        be up to 100 years after the author dies. Review the map in figure 2.3
        (earlier in this chapter) for an overview of copyright terms around
        the world.
    2. The work was never entitled to copyright protection.         NOTE Moral
        Copyright covers vast amounts of content cre-
                                                                  ! rights may
                                                               continue to exist
        ated by authors, but certain categories of works       in works that have
        fall outside the scope of copyright. For example,      otherwise entered
        works that are purely functional are not copy-         the public domain.
                                                               See section 2.1
        rightable, like the design of a screw. The Berne
                                                               “Copyright Basics.”
        Convention identifies additional categories that
                                                             C op yr igh t L aw - 29 -

                                         FIGURE 2.5   Creative Commons CC0 Icon
                                         The CC icons are visual symbols that convey
                                         the basic permissions associated with a par-
                                         ticular type of CC license or tool.
                                         Available for download at https://

        cannot be copyrighted, such as official texts of a legislative, admin-
        istrative, and legal nature. Furthermore, in some countries, works
        created by government employees are excluded from copyright pro-
        tection and are not eligible for copyright. Facts and ideas are never

    3. The creator dedicates the work to the public domain before its copyright has
         In most parts of the world, a creator can decide to forego the protec-
         tions of copyright and dedicate their work to the public domain. Cre-
         ative Commons has a legal tool called CC0 (“CC Zero”) Public Domain
         Dedication that helps authors put their works into the worldwide pub-
         lic domain to the greatest extent possible. You’ll learn more about this
         tool (and other Creative Commons legal tools) later in this book.

    4. The copyright holder failed to comply with the formalities required to
       acquire or maintain their copyright.
         Today in most countries, there are no formal requirements to acquire
         or renew copyright protection over a work. This was not always the
         case, however, and many works have entered the public domain over
         the years because a creator failed to adhere to these formalities.

You can do almost anything, but it depends on the scope and duration of copy-
right protection in the particular country where the work is used. Depending
on the country, for example, a work in the public domain may still be covered
by moral rights that last beyond the duration of copyright. It’s also possible that
a work is in the public domain in one country but is still under copyright in
another country. This means you may not be able to use the work freely where
copyright still applies.
- 30 - CHAPTER 2

Even though it may not be legally required in every country, and especially
in those countries where moral rights do not exist after the term of copyright
expires, there are many benefits to identifying and giving credit to the origi-
nal creators, even after their work has entered the public domain. Many com-
munities have adopted norms, which are accepted standards for crediting the
authors and the treatment of works in the public domain. Creative Commons
has created public domain guidelines that can be used by communities to create
their own norms. You can review the CC guidelines at https://wiki.creativecom- Can you think of a reason why it
might be helpful to give credit to an author whose work is in the public domain?
Can you think of why norms should be encouraged when public domain works
are reused?

With millions of creative works whose copyright has expired—and many more
added regularly with tools like the CC0 Public Domain Dedication—the public
domain is a vast treasure trove of content.
   Among the sites that host works in the public domain are Project Gutenberg,
Public Domain Review, Digital Public Library of America, Wikimedia Com-
mons, Internet Archive, Library of Congress, Flickr, and the Rijksmuseum. The
CC Search tool ( is another way to find
public domain material.
   It is not always easy to identify whether a work is in the public domain
(though there are many resources available to help). As we learned, copyright
protection is automatic, so the absence of the copyright symbol “©” does not
mean a work is in the public domain. In addition to its CC0 Public Domain
Dedication for creators, Creative Commons also has a tool called the Public

           NOTE A work that is in the public domain for purposes of copyright law may still
           be subject to other intellectual property restrictions. For example, a story that
           is in the public domain may have a trademarked brand on the cover associated
           with the publisher of the book. Trademark protection is independent of copyright
protection and may still exist even though the work is in the public domain as a matter of
copyright. Also, once a creator uses a public domain work to turn it into a new work, the
creator will have copyright on the portions of their new work that are original to them. As
an example, the creator of a film adaptation based on a novel in the public domain will have
copyright protection over the film, but not the underlying novel.
                                                          C op yr igh t L aw - 31 -

Domain Mark (
pdm), which is designed to label works whose copyright has expired every-
where in the world, so that reusers can easily identify those works as being in
the worldwide public domain. As of 2016, CC’s public domain tools were used
on more than 90 million works.

Final Remarks
A healthy public domain is crucial to preserving our cultural heritage, inspir-
ing new generations of creators, and increasing human knowledge. Because
the scope and duration of copyright have grown so much over the years, it can
be easy to forget that the public domain exists at all. But the public domain is
a critical part of the bargain of copyright and works in the public domain are
incredible resources that belong to all of us.

The limitations and exceptions built into copyright, including “fair use” and
“fair dealing” in some parts of the world, were designed to ensure that the
rights of the public were not unduly restricted by copyright.

What would the world look like if copyright had no limits to what it prevented
you from doing with copyrighted works?
   Imagine resorting to Google’s search engine on your laptop or smartphone
to settle a disagreement with a friend about some bit of trivia. You type in your
search query, and Google comes up empty. You then learn that a court has
required Google to delete its entire web index because it never entered into
copyright agreements with each individual author of each individual page on
the web. By indexing a web page and showing the public a snippet of the con-
tents in their search results, the court has declared that Google violates the
copyrights of hundreds of millions of people and can no longer show those
search results.
   Fortunately, thanks to the exceptions and limitations built into copyright
laws in much of the world, including the fair use doctrine under U.S. copyright
law, this hypothetical scenario is unlikely to become reality in most countries.
This is one of many illustrations that show why it is so important that copyright
has built-in limitations and exceptions.
- 32 - CHAPTER 2

   •   State what limitations and exceptions to copyright are and why they exist
   •   Name a few common exceptions and limitations to copyright

Have you ever made a copy of a creative work? Can you recall a time when you
were studying and you included properly cited quotations in a research paper
you wrote? Can you think of a way an exception or limitation to copyright has
benefited you?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Copyright is not absolute. There are some uses of copyrighted works that do
not require permission. These uses are limitations on the exclusive rights nor-
mally granted to copyright holders and are known as “exceptions and limita-
tions” to copyright.
   Fair use, fair dealing, and other exceptions and limitations to copyright are
an extremely important part of copyright design. Some countries afford excep-
tions and limitations to copyright, such as fair dealing, while other countries do
not offer them at all.4 If your use of another person’s copyrighted work is “fair
use” or falls within another exception or limitation to copyright, then you are
not infringing that creator’s copyright.
   When legislators created copyright protections, they realized that allowing
copyright to restrict all the possible uses of creative works could be highly prob-
lematic. For example, how could scholars and critics write about plays, books,
movies, or other artworks without quoting from them? (It would be extremely
difficult.) And would copyright holders be inclined to provide licenses or other
permission to people whose reviews of their works might be negative? (Proba-
bly not.)
   For this and a range of other reasons, certain uses are explicitly carved out
from copyright to widely different degrees depending on the jurisdiction—
including uses for the purposes of criticism, commentary, news reporting, teach-
ing, scholarship, research, parody, and access for the visually impaired. The use
of copyrighted works—or portions of those works—for these purposes is not
an infringement of those works’ copyright when an exception or limitation to
copyright applies. These uses are known as “fair use” or “fair dealing” in some
parts of the world.
                                                               C op yr igh t L aw - 33 -

   The Berne Convention first established the concept of “fair use” by providing
the following in Article 9, section 2. This is known as the “three-step” test, and
has been adopted in some form in several other treaties:

    It shall be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to permit the
    reproduction of such works in certain special cases, provided that such repro-
    duction does not conflict with a normal exploitation of the work and does not
    unreasonably prejudice the legitimate interests of the author. (emphasis added)

    For more information about the scope and use of the three-step test, read the
short primer published by the Electronic Frontier Foundation at https://www
    The exceptions and limitations to copyright vary by country. There are
global discussions around how to harmonize them. A World Intellectual Prop-
erty Organization study (
sccr_30/sccr_30_3.pdf ) by Kenneth Crews compares the copyright exceptions
and limitations for libraries in many countries around the world.
    Generally speaking, there are two main ways in which limitations and excep-
tions are written into copyright law. The first is by listing specific activities that
are excluded from the reach of copyright. For example, Japanese copyright law
has a specific exemption allowing classroom broadcasts of copyrighted mate-
rial. This approach has the benefit of providing clarity about precisely what
uses by the public are allowed and are not considered infringing. However, it
can also be limiting because anything not specifically on the list of exceptions
may be deemed restricted by copyright.
    The other approach is to include flexible guidelines about what is allowed in
the spirit of the three-step test described above. Courts then determine exactly
what uses are allowed without the permission of the copyright holder. The
downside to flexible guidelines is that they leave more room for uncertainty.
This is the approach used in the United States with fair use, although U.S. copy-
right law also has some specific exceptions to copyright written into the law
as well. In the United States, fair use is determined using a four-factor test,5 in
which a federal court judge considers (1) the purpose and character of use, (2)
the nature of the copyrighted work, (3) the amount and substantiality of the
portion taken from the work, and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential
market for the copyrighted work. (See the “Additional Resources” section at the
end of this chapter for a good selection of publications that discuss fair use and
other exceptions and limitations to copyright.)
- 34 - CHAPTER 2

    Most countries also have compulsory licensing schemes, which are another
form of limitation on the exclusive rights of copyright holders. These statutory
systems make copyrighted content (for example, music) available for particu-
lar types of reuse without asking permission, but they require payment of spec-
ified (and non-negotiable) fees to the copyright owners. Compulsory licensing
schemes permit anyone to make certain uses of copyrighted works so long as
they pay a fee to the rights holder whose work will be used.
    As an organization and a movement, Creative Commons supports strong
exceptions and limitations to copyright. But the vision of Creative Commons—
universal access to research and education and full participation in culture—
will not be realized through licensing alone. Creative Commons supports a
copyright system that appropriately balances the rights of creators and the
rights of users and the general public.

Final Remarks
Like the public domain, the exceptions and limitations to copyright are just
as important as the exclusive rights that copyright grants. Think of them as a
safety valve for the public in order to be able to utilize copyrighted works for
particular uses in the public interest. You should educate yourself about the
exceptions and limitations that apply in your country, so you can take advan-
tage of and advocate for these critical user rights.


More Information about Copyright Concepts
Generally, to establish a claim of copyright infringement, a creator or holder
of copyright need only show that they have a valid copyright in the work and
that the defendant copied protected expression from the work. However, the
intention of the alleged infringer may be relevant in some cases, such as if the
defendant asserts that an exception or limitation applied to their use or that
their work was independently created.
   The copyright laws of some countries grant copyright holders statutory
remedies for infringement. The type and amounts of remedies, including dam-
ages, are established by law. You should be aware of the existence of statutory
                                                            C op yr igh t L aw - 35 -

damages and other remedies permitted by applicable law, including statutory
provisions that award legal fees in some circumstances.

Many creators and copyright holders need help to fully exercise their exclusive
rights or simply give others permission to exercise the rights granted by copy-
right law. Several options exist to do this. Some creators choose to license some
or all of their rights, either exclusively or nonexclusively. Others choose to sell
their rights outright and allow others to exercise them in their place, sometimes
in exchange for royalty payments. There are often formalities associated with
the sale or licensing of copyrights, including when a copyright license must be
in writing, depending on the copyright law that applies.

The laws of some countries grant copyright holders the right to terminate
transfer agreements or licenses even if the transfer agreement or license
doesn’t allow it. In the United States, for example, copyright law provides
two mechanisms for doing so, depending on when the transfer agreement or
license became effective. For more information on these rights and a tool that
allows creators and copyright holders to figure out if they have those rights, see

   •   “CopyrightX,” by Harvard Law School.
          This is a course on copyright provided by the Harvard Law School’s
          HarvardX distance learning initiative:; http://

   •   U.S. Copyright Office, Circular no. 1, “Copyright Basics”: https://www.copy

   •   “Copyright for Educators & Librarians,” by Coursera. All rights reserved.
          This is a course on copyright provided by Coursera: https://www

   •   “Philosophy of Copyright,” Wikipedia article:
       wiki/Philosophy_of_copyright. CC BY-SA 3.0.
- 36 - CHAPTER 2

   •   “Author’s Rights,” CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia

More Information about Limitations and Exceptions
to Copyright
   •   Fair Use Evaluator
          This is an online tool to help users understand how to determine the
          “fairness” of use under U.S. copyright law, and work with materials
          under fair use:

   •   Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property, by American
       University Washington College of Law. CC BY 3.0.
          See this program’s “Publications on Fair Use” to understand the under-
          lying principles and best practices of fair use:

   •   “Copyright and Exceptions,” by Kennisland. Marked with CC0 1.0 Public
       Domain Designation.
          This is an interactive map of European copyright exceptions: http://

   •   A Fair(y) Use Tale, by Eric Faden. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.
          This is a creative educational fair-use mashup which ironically makes
          use of clips from Disney films as it explains how copyright works. The
          discussion of fair use begins around the 6-minute 30-second mark in
          the video:

More Information about the Public Domain
   •   “Copyright Term and the Public Domain in the United States,” by the
        Cornell University Library’s Copyright Information Center. CC BY 3.0.
          This provides copyright information on when resources fall into the
          public domain, depending on the circumstances under which they were

   •   Out of Copyright: Determining the Copyright Status of Works.
          This is a website to help determine the copyright status of a work and
          whether it has fallen into the public domain:

   •   The Public Domain Manifesto, by Communia. GNU General Public License.
          This is a website with information about the public domain, the values
                                                                  C op yr igh t L aw - 37 -

         of some of its supporters, and some recommendations on how to use
         the public domain:

  •   Center for the Study of Public Domain, by Duke Law School.
         This website contains information and events regarding the public

  •   Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain, by Keith Aoki, James Boyle,
      and Jennifer Jenkins. CC BY-NC-SA 2.5.
         This is a comic book about intellectual property law and the public

  •   Public Domain Review.
         This is an online journal and not-for-profit project that showcases
         works which have entered the public domain. The journal is dedicated
         to the exploration of curious and compelling works from the history of
         art, literature, and ideas:

  •   “It’s Time to Protect the Public Domain,” by Wikimedia Foundation. CC BY 3.0.
           This blog post provides information on some of the important details
           of the public domain, its legal backing, and the public interest: https://

Participants’ Recommended Resources
CC Certificate participants have recommended many additional resources
through annotations on the Certificate website. While Creative
Commons has not vetted these resources, we want to highlight these partici-
pants’ suggestions here:

   1. The Statute of Anne; April 10, 1710, 8 Anne, c. 19, Yale, The Avalon Project, https:// All rights reserved.

   2. By collections, we mean the assembly of separate and independent creative works
      into a collective whole. See chapter 4 for more discussion about collections.

   3. These international agreements include the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects
      of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), negotiated by members of the World
      Trade Organization in 1994; and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT), negotiated
      by members of the World Intellectual Property Organization in 1996. These
      agreements address similar issues and also new IP-related issues not covered
- 38 - CHAPTER 2

     by the Berne Convention. Another manner in which copyright policy is made
     is through bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. As of 2017, there were
     several negotiations underway. These include the Regional Comprehensive
     Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the renegotiation of the North American Free
     Trade Agreement (NAFTA). A major drawback of multilateral trade negotiations
     is that they are typically conducted in secret with little or no participation from
     civil society organizations and the public.

   4. The fair use doctrine is found in the United States, and the fair dealing doctrine
      is found in many other countries with common-law systems. You can learn more
      about the limitations and exceptions at
      limitations/ and

   5. For more information on the four-factor test, see “Measuring Fair Use: The Four
      Factors,” Stanford University Libraries,
                       Anatomy of a CC License

to large companies and institutions a clear, standardized way to grant permis-
sion to others to use their creative work. From the reuser’s perspective, the
presence of a Creative Commons license answers the question, “What can I
do with this?” and provides the freedom to reuse the work of others, subject to
clearly defined conditions.
   All CC licenses ensure that creators retain their copyright and get credit for
their work, while still permitting others to copy and distribute it. Although the
CC legal tools are designed to be as easy to use as possible, there are still some
things to learn in order to fully understand their mechanics.
   This chapter has five sections:

    1.   License Design and Terminology
    2.   License Scope
    3.   License Types
    4.   License Enforceability
    5.   Additional Resources

Do you “speak CC” yet? This section covers the acronyms, terms, and icons used
in connection with Creative Commons’ tools, as well as some key things to know
about how the licenses were designed.

                                                                             - 39 -
- 40 - CHAPTER 3

   •   Differentiate the meaning of different CC icons
   •   Identify the three layers of CC licenses

Given that most of us are not lawyers, what do we need to know about the legal-
ities in order to use CC licenses properly?
    Creative Commons’ legal tools were designed to be as accessible to everyone
as possible while still being legally robust. CC’s founders made several design
decisions that make these legal tools relatively easy to use and understand.

Have you ever come across a CC-licensed Flickr image that you really liked but
were afraid to use because you weren’t sure of the legal terms and conditions?
Have you ever been frustrated because you didn’t understand how to decide
which of the CC legal tools to use for your own work?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Copyright operates by default under an “all rights reserved” approach. Creative
Commons licenses function within copyright law, but they utilize a “some rights
reserved” approach. While there are several different CC license options, all of
them grant permission to use the works under certain standardized conditions.
The licenses grant those permissions for as long as the underlying copyright
lasts or until/unless you violate the license terms. This is what we mean when
we say CC licenses work on top of copyright, not instead of copyright.
   The CC licenses were designed to be a free, voluntary solution for creators
who want to grant the public up-front permission to use their works. Although
the licenses are legally enforceable tools, they were designed in a way that was
intended to make them accessible to non-lawyers.
   The licenses are built using a three-layer design (figure 3.1).

    1. The legal code is the base layer. This contains the “lawyer-readable” terms
       and conditions that are legally enforceable in court. Take a minute and
       scan through the legal code of CC BY (
       licenses/by/4.0/legalcode) to see how it is structured. Can you find where
       the attribution requirements are listed?
    2. The commons deeds are the best-known layer of the licenses. These
       are the web pages that lay out the key license terms in “human-read-
                                            Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 41 -

   able” terms. The deeds are not legally
   enforceable but instead summarize the
   legal code. Take some time to explore
   the deeds for CC BY (https://creative and
   CC BY-NC-ND (https://creativecommons
   .org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/) and iden-
   tify how they differ. Can you find the
   links to the legal code from each deed?
3. The final layer of the license design
   recognizes that software plays a crit-
   ical role in the creation, copying, dis-
   covery, and distribution of works. In
                                                    FIGURE 3.1 The three layers
   order to make it easy for websites and
                                                                 of a CC license
   web services to know when a work
   is available under a Creative Commons license, we provide a “machine-
   readable” version of the license (see figure 3.2)—this is a summary of the
   key freedoms granted and obligations imposed, and is written into a for-
   mat that applications, search engines, and other kinds of technology can
   understand. We developed a standardized way to describe licenses that
   software can understand called CC Rights Expression Language (CC REL)
   to accomplish this. When this metadata is attached to CC-licensed works,
   someone searching for a CC-licensed work using a search engine (e.g.,
   Google Advanced Search) can more easily discover CC-licensed works.

                                                   Example of
                                          FIGURE 3.2
                                          “machine readable” code
                                          From Creative Commons License
                                          CC BY 4.0
- 42 - CHAPTER 3

All Creative Commons licenses have many important features in common. At a
minimum, every license helps creators (we call them “licensors” when they use
CC tools) retain copyright while allowing others to copy and distribute their
work. Every CC license also ensures that licensors get credit for their work. CC
licenses work around the world and last as long as the applicable copyright lasts
(because they are built on copyright) and as long as the user complies with the
license. These common features serve as the baseline, on top of which licensors
can choose to grant additional permissions when deciding how they want their
work to be used.

 !    NOTE Throughout all of the CC Certificate content, please assume that all descriptions
      of the licenses refer to the most recent version of the CC license suite, Version 4.0,
unless otherwise indicated. You will learn more about the different versions in section 3.3
“License Types.”

All Creative Commons licenses are structured to give the user permission to
make a wide range of uses as long as the user complies with the conditions in the
license. The basic condition in all of the licenses is that the user provides credit
to the licensor and certain other information, such as where the original work
may be found.
    A CC licensor makes a few simple decisions on the path to choosing a license:
first, do I want to allow commercial use of my work; and second, do I want to
allow derivative works (also known as adaptations)? We’ll address adaptations
in greater detail within chapter 4.
    If a licensor decides to allow derivative works, they may also choose to
require that anyone who uses the work—we call them “licensees”—make their
new work available under the same license terms. This is what is meant by “Sha-
reAlike,” and it is one of the mechanisms that has helped the digital commons of
CC-licensed content grow over time. ShareAlike is inspired by the GNU General
Public License, which is used by many free and open-source software projects.
    These different license elements are symbolized by visual icons, as shown
in figures 3.3a to 3.3d below.
    The symbol shown in figure 3.3a means Attribution or “BY.” This license
means that others who use your work must give you credit for it (i.e., attribute
it to you) in the way you request. All of the licenses include this condition.
                                              Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 43 -

                                  a                                   b

                                  c                                   d

Different license elements

   The symbol shown in figure 3.3b means NonCommercial or “NC,” which
means the work is only available to be used for non-commercial purposes.
Three of the CC licenses include this restriction.
   The symbol shown in figure 3.3c means ShareAlike or “SA,” which means
that any adaptations and modified versions based on this work must adhere to
the terms of the original license. Two of the CC licenses include this condition:
Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA), and Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
   The symbol shown in figure 3.3d means NoDerivatives or “ND,” which means
that reusers cannot share adaptations or modified versions of the work. Two of
the CC licenses include this restriction: Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND), and
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND).
   When combined, these icons represent the six CC license options. The icons
are also embedded in the “license icons,” which each represent a particular CC
license type. The next section in this chapter, “License Types,” explores the six
combinations in detail.
- 44 - CHAPTER 3

                                    a                                   b

FIGURE 3.4B Public Domain Mark

In addition to the CC license suite, Creative Commons also has two public
domain tools, which are represented by the icons in figures 3.4a and 3.4b above.
These public domain tools are not licenses.
    CC0 (figure 3.4a) enables creators to dedicate their works to the worldwide
public domain to the greatest extent possible. Note that some jurisdictions do
not allow creators to dedicate their works to the public domain, so CC0 has other
legal mechanisms included to help deal with this situation where it applies.
(There is more on this in section 3.3 “License Types.”)
    The Public Domain Mark (figure 3.4b) is a label used to mark works that are
known to be free of all copyright restrictions. Unlike CC0, the Public Domain
Mark is not a legal tool and has no legal effect when applied to a work. It serves
only as a label to inform the public about the public domain status of a work and
is often used by museums and archives working with very old works.

Final Remarks
There is a learning curve to some of the terminology and basics about how CC
legal tools work. But as you now know, it is far less intimidating than it looks.
Now that you understand how to “speak CC” and know some of the fundamen-
tals about CC license design, you are well on your way to becoming versed in CC
                                               Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 45 -

Creative Commons licenses are built on copyright law. This simple fact tells
you most of what you need to know about when they do and do not apply, and
how long they last.

   •   Describe how CC works with copyright and why this is important
   •   Explain the time length of a CC license

What is the legal foundation upon which CC licenses operate? And why is this
so important?
   CC licenses are copyright licenses. They apply where and when copyright
applies. This reflects a fundamental design decision by the founders of Cre-
ative Commons. Given that the goal was to make more creative and educational
works available under common-sense terms, Creative Commons wanted to
ensure that its licenses were not used to restrict works or uses of works that the
copyright law does not restrict. This is a core CC value. Having the language of
the licenses track copyright law accomplished this goal.

Think about what it would mean if a CC license could prevent you from doing
something you could otherwise do with a copyrighted work, such as printing
a copy of a poem to insert in a birthday card for a friend. Do you understand
why having CC licenses track copyright was an important decision for the
founders of Creative Commons?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
The statement that “Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses” tells
you the following about the licenses:

    1. The licenses “operate” or apply only when the work is within the scope
       of copyright law (or other related laws) and the restrictions of copyright
       law apply to the intended use of the work. (This is discussed in more
       detail below.)
    2. Certain other rights, such as patents, trademarks, and privacy and pub-
       licity rights are not covered by the licenses and must be managed sepa-
- 46 - CHAPTER 3

    The first of these statements explains a basic limitation of the licenses in
controlling what people do with the work, and the second statement provides a
warning that there may be other rights at play with the work that restrict how
it is used.

CC licenses are appropriate for creators who have created something protect-
able by copyright, such as an image, an article, or a book, and who want to pro-
vide people with one or more of the permissions governed by copyright law.
For example, if you want to give others permission to freely copy and redistrib-
ute your work, you can use a CC license to grant those permissions. Likewise,
if you want to give others permission to freely transform, alter, or otherwise
create derivative works based on your work, you can use a CC license to grant
those permissions.
    However, you don’t need to use a Creative Commons license to give some-
one permission to read your article or watch your video, because reading and
watching aren’t activities that copyright generally regulates.
    Here are two more important scenarios in which a user does not need a copy-
right license:1

   •   When fair use, fair dealing, or some other limitation and exception to
       copyright applies (see the relevant FAQ at
       -copyright-such-as-fair-dealing-and-fair-use ).
   •   When the work is in the public domain (see the relevant FAQ1 at https://

Can you think of reasons why someone might try to apply a CC license to a work
that is not covered by copyright in their own country? Or reasons why a CC
licensor might expect attribution every time their work is used, even for a use
that is not prohibited by copyright law?
   These users might be trying to exert control that they do not actually have
by law. But more likely than not, they simply don’t know that copyright does
                                                Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 47 -

not apply, or that a work is in the public domain. Or, for the savvy licensor, they
may realize that their work is in the public domain in some countries but not
everywhere, and they want to be sure that everyone everywhere will be able to
reuse it.
    For a real-life example, let’s look at what happens when you want to use CC
licenses in a field like 3D printing. Look at the resource provided by Public
Knowledge (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0, available at https://www.publicknowledge
.pdf ) about how to apply a CC license in the 3D printing field. It is easy to see
how complicated the legal issues can become, particularly in newly emerging
fields like this one.
    One other subtle but important difference about the scope of CC licenses is
that they also cover other rights that are closely related to copyright. These are
defined as “Similar Rights” in the CC license legal code, and they include related
and neighboring rights and what are known as “sui genesis database rights,”
which are rights in some countries restricting the extraction and reuse of the
contents of a database. See section 2.1 “Copyright Basics” for a refresher on
what Similar Rights covers. Just as with copyright, the CC license conditions
only come into play when Similar Rights otherwise apply to the work and to the
particular reuse made by someone using the CC-licensed work.
    The other critical part of the statement “CC licenses are copyright licenses”
is that there may be other rights in a work upon which the license has no effect—
for example, privacy rights. Again, CC licenses do not have any effect on rights
beyond copyright and Similar Rights as defined in the licenses, so other rights
have to be managed separately. Read the FAQ about this issue at https://creative
    While it is not required, Creative Commons urges creators to make sure that
there are no other rights that may prevent the reuse of their work as intended.
CC licensors do not make any warranties about the reuse of the work. This
means that unless the licensor is offering a separate warranty, it is incumbent
on the reuser to determine whether other rights may impact their intended
reuse of the work. Learning more about this can sometimes be as easy as con-
tacting the licensor to inquire about these possible other rights. Read through
the complete list of considerations for licensees of CC-licensed works, licensed
CC BY 4.0, at
- 48 - CHAPTER 3

You can apply a CC license to anything protected by copyright that you own,
with one important exception.
   CC urges creators not to apply CC licenses to software. This is because there
are many free and open-source software licenses which do that job better; they
were built specifically as software licenses. For example, most open-source
software licenses include provisions about distributing the software’s source
code—but the CC licenses do not address this important aspect of sharing soft-
ware. The software-sharing ecosystem is well established, and there are many
good open-source software licenses to choose from. An FAQ from Creative
Commons’ website available at
-a-creative-commons-license-to-software has more information about why we
discourage the use of our licenses for software.

A CC license on a given work only covers the copyright held by the person who
applied the license—the licensor. This might sound obvious, but it is an import-
ant point to understand. For example, many employers own the copyright to
works created by their employees, so if an employee applies a CC license to a
work owned by their employer, they are not able to give any permission what-
soever to reuse the work. The person who applies the license needs to be either
the creator or someone who has acquired the rights to the work.
    Additionally, a work may incorporate the copyrighted work of another, such
as a scholarly article that uses a copyrighted photograph to illustrate an idea
(after having received the permission of the owner of the photograph to include
it). The CC license applied by the author of the scholarly article does not apply
to the photograph, only to the remainder of the work. Separate permission may
need to be obtained in order to reproduce the photograph (but not the remain-
der of the article). See section 3.4 “License Enforceability” for more details on
how to handle these situations.
    Also, works often have more than one copyright attached to them. For exam-
ple, a filmmaker may own the copyright to a film adaptation of a book, but the
book author also holds a copyright to the book on which the film is based. In this
example, if the film is CC-licensed, the CC license only applies to the film and not
the book. The user may need to separately obtain a license to use the copyright-
able content from the book that is part of the film.
                                                Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 49 -

Final Remarks
A key to understanding how Creative Commons works is understanding that
the licenses depend on copyright to function. This seemingly simple concept
explains a lot about when the tools apply and how much of a work they cover.

There are six different CC licenses, which are designed to help accommodate
the diverse needs of creators while still using simple, standardized terms.

   •   Explain the CC license suite
   •   Describe the different CC license elements

Why are there so many different Creative Commons licenses?
   There is no single Creative Commons license. The CC license suite (which
includes the six CC licenses) and the CC0 Public Domain Dedication offer cre-
ators a range of options. At first, all of these choices can appear daunting. But
when you dig into the options, you will realize that the spectrum of choices is
fairly simple.

Think about a piece of creative or academic work you made that you are partic-
ularly proud of. If you shared that work with others, would you have been okay
with them adapting it or using it for commercial purposes? Why or why not?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Creative Commons licenses are standardized tools, but part of the vision is
to provide a range of options for creators who are interested in sharing their
works with the public rather than reserving all rights under copyright.
   The four license elements—BY, SA, NC, and ND—combine to make up six dif-
ferent license options.
   All of the licenses include the BY condition. In other words, all of the licenses
require that the creator be attributed in connection with their work. Beyond
that commonality, the licenses vary as to whether (1) commercial use of the
work is permitted, and (2) whether the work can be adapted or modified, and if
so, on what terms.
- 50 - CHAPTER 3

                                      a                                     d

                                     b                                      e

                                      c                                     f
FIGURES 3.5 a-f
The six BY licenses

   The six licenses, from least to most restrictive in terms of the freedoms
granted reusers, are shown in figures 3.5a to 3.5f.
   The Attribution license, or CC BY (figure 3.5a), allows people to use the work
for any purpose (even commercially and even in modified form) as long as they
give attribution to the creator.
   The Attribution-ShareAlike license, or BY-SA (figure 3.5b), allows people to
use the work for any purpose (even commercially and even in modified form),
as long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they
share with others available under the same or a compatible license. This is Cre-
ative Commons’ version of a copyleft license (a type of open source software
license that makes the license permissions viral by design), and is the license
required for the content uploaded to Wikipedia, for example.
   The Attribution-NonCommercial license, or BY-NC (figure 3.5c), allows people
to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give
attribution to the creator.
   The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license, or BY-NC-SA (figure 3.5d),
allows people to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as
long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they share
with others available under the same or a compatible license.
                                                 Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 51 -

   The Attribution-NoDerivatives license, or BY-ND (figure 3.5e), allows people
to use the unadapted work for any purpose (even commercially), as long as they
give attribution to the creator. But they cannot use adapted or modified ver-
sions of the work (these are called “derivatives”).
   The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license, or BY-NC-ND (figure
3.5f ), is the most restrictive license offered by Creative Commons. It allows peo-
ple to use the unadapted work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as
long as they give attribution to the licensor. Adaptations or modified versions
of the work are not permitted.
   To really understand how the different license options work, let’s dig into
the different license elements. Attribution is a part of all CC licenses, and we
will dissect exactly what type of attribution is required in chapter 4. For now,
let’s focus on what makes the licenses different.

Noncommercial (NC)
As we know, three of the licenses (BY-NC, BY-NC-SA, and
BY-NC-ND) limit reuse of the work to noncommercial
purposes only. In the legal code, a noncommercial pur-
pose is defined as one that is “not primarily intended for
or directed towards commercial advantage or monetary
compensation.” This phrasing is intended to provide flexibility depending on
the facts surrounding the reuse, without overly specifying exact situations that
could exclude some prohibited and some permitted reuses.
   It is important to note that CC’s definition of NC depends on the use, not
the user. If you are a nonprofit or charitable organization, your use of an NC-
licensed work could still run afoul of the NC restriction, and if you are a for-profit
entity, your use of an NC-licensed work does not necessarily mean you have
violated the license terms. For example, a nonprofit entity cannot sell another’s
NC-licensed work for a profit, and a for-profit entity may use an NC-licensed
work for noncommercial purposes. Whether a use is commercial depends on
the specifics of the situation. See our CC “NonCommercial Interpretation” page,
licensed CC BY 4.0, at
_interpretation for more information and examples.
- 52 - CHAPTER 3

The other differences between the licenses hinge on whether, and on what
terms, reusers can adapt and then share the licensed work. The question of
what constitutes an adaptation of a licensed work depends on applicable copy-
right law (for a reminder, see chapter 2). One of the exclusive rights granted to
creators under copyright is the right to create adaptations or modified versions
of their works or, as they are sometimes called, “derivative works.” Examples
of these adaptations include creating a movie based on a book or translating a
book from one language to another.
   As a legal matter, at times it is tricky to determine exactly what is and is not
an adaptation. Here are some handy rules about the licenses to keep in mind:
   Technical format-shifting (for example, converting a licensed work from
a digital format to a physical copy) is not an adaptation regardless of what the
applicable copyright law may otherwise provide.

   •   Fixing minor problems with spelling or punctuation is not an adaptation.
   •   Syncing a musical work with a moving image is an adaptation regardless
       of what the applicable copyright law may otherwise provide.
   •   Reproducing and putting works together into a collection is not an adapta-
       tion of the individual works. For example, combining stand-alone essays
       by several authors into an essay collection for use as an open textbook is a
       collection and not an adaptation. Most open courseware is a collection of
       others’ open educational resources (OER).
   •   Including an image in connection with text, as in a blog post, a Power-
       Point, or an article, does not create an adaptation unless the photo itself is

                   Two of the CC licenses (BY-ND and BY-NC-ND) prohibit reus-
                   ers from sharing (i.e., distributing or making available)
                   adaptations of the licensed work. To be clear, this means
                   that anyone may create adaptations of works under an ND
                   license so long as they don’t share the work with others in
adapted form. This allows, among other things, organizations to engage in text
and data mining without violating the ND term.
                                                Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 53 -

                     Two of the licenses (BY-SA and BY-NC-SA) require that if
                     adaptations of the licensed work are shared, they must be
                     made available under the same or a compatible license. For
                     ShareAlike purposes, the list of compatible licenses is short.
                     It includes later versions of the same license (e.g., BY-SA 4.0
is compatible with BY-SA 3.0) and a few non-CC licenses designated as compati-
ble by Creative Commons (e.g., the Free Art License). You can read more about
this at the CC wiki ShareAlike Compatibility page, licensed CC BY 4.0, available
at, but the
most important thing to remember is that ShareAlike requires that if you share
your adaptation, you must do so using the same or a compatible license.

                    Public Domain
                     In addition to the CC license suite, Creative Commons also
                     has an option for creators who want to take a “no rights
                     reserved” approach and disclaim copyright entirely. This is
                     CC0, the Public Domain Dedication tool.
                        Like the CC licenses, CC0 (read “CC Zero”) uses the three-
layer design—legal code, deed, and metadata. The CC0 legal code itself uses a
three-pronged legal approach. The first approach is for the creator to simply
waive all of their rights to the work. But some countries do not allow creators to
dedicate their work to the public domain through a waiver or abandonment of
their rights, so CC0 includes a “fallback” license that allows anyone in the world
to do anything with the work unconditionally. The fallback license comes into
play when the waiver fails for any reason. And finally, in the rare instance that
both the waiver and the “fallback” license are not enforceable, CC includes a
promise by the person applying CC0 to their work that they will not assert copy-
right against reusers in a manner that interferes with their stated intention of
surrendering all rights in the work.
   Like the licenses, CC0 is a copyright tool, but it also covers a few additional
rights beyond those covered by the CC licenses, such as noncompetition laws.
From a reuse perspective, there still may be other rights that require clearance
separately, such as trademark and patent rights, and third-party rights in the
work, such as publicity or privacy rights.
- 54 - CHAPTER 3

Final Remarks
Creative Commons legal tools were designed to provide a solution to compli-
cated laws in a standardized way, making them as easy as possible for non-
lawyers to use and apply. Understanding the basic legal principles in this sec-
tion will help you use the CC licenses and public domain tools more effectively.

Creative Commons licenses have been carefully crafted to make them legally
enforceable in countries around the world.

   •   Describe the state of Creative Commons case law
   •   Explain the potential benefits of seeking nonlegal resolutions
       to disagreements

Creative Commons licenses are legal tools that build on copyright law. As legal
instruments, CC licenses need to stand up in court. What happens when there is
a court case that involves CC licenses? What happens if someone is violating the
CC license you applied to a work, but you don’t want to file a lawsuit? What hap-
pens if a licensor complains about how you have attributed them when reusing
their work?
   To date and to our knowledge, no court around the world that has heard a
case involving a CC license (and there have been very few such cases) has ques-
tioned the validity or enforceability of a CC license. Thanks to the Creative Com-
mons community, most disputes connected to CC licenses are resolved outside
of court and often without involving lawyers.

Whether you or your organization are using CC licenses, or you’re advising
others in the use of such licenses, you want to be confident that the terms of
those licenses are enforceable. If someone misuses your work, what recourse
do you have? What would you do if you found out that someone was using your
CC-licensed photograph in a magazine without giving you credit, for example?
                                                      Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 55 -

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Most people who reuse CC-licensed works try to comply with the license condi-
tions. But whether well-meaning or not, sometimes people get it wrong.
    If someone is using a CC-licensed work without giving attribution or oth-
erwise following the license, their right to use the work ends automatically
as soon as they violate the license terms. Unless the person using the work
received separate permission or is relying upon fair use or some other excep-
tion to copyright, they are potentially liable for copyright infringement. To
learn what happens when someone does not comply with a CC license, read the
FAQ at
-under-a-creative-commons-license-and-someone-misuses-them. For a look at
what happens from the perspective of a reuser, read the FAQ at https://creative
    Note this important difference between the newest version of CC licenses
(Version 4.0) and prior versions in the text box below:

         Under Version 4.0, users of CC-licensed works who come into compliance
         with license terms within thirty days of discovering they were in violation
         of the terms have their rights under the license automatically reinstated.

     FIGURE 3.6   What’s new in Version 4.0 of the CC licenses?
     From the “What’s New in 4.0 Page” on the Creative Commons website: https://
     CC BY 4.0

   Sometimes these types of disputes can end up in court. Over the course of Cre-
ative Commons’ history, to our knowledge, there have been very few legal dis-
putes and decisions involving CC legal tools. Each court that has rendered a deci-
sion has made it without questioning the enforceability of the CC license at issue.
- 56 - CHAPTER 3

   Those judicial decisions have been in a variety of places around the world,
including Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Israel, and the
United States. Creative Commons maintains a listing of court decisions and case
law from jurisdictions around the world on its wiki, licensed CC BY 4.0, avail-
able at
   In all of these decisions, no court has questioned the validity of a CC license
in the case. While a CC license played a minor role in some of the cases, in others
the court has held the defendant liable for copyright infringement for failing to
follow the CC license terms. You can read about one such decision at the CC wiki
page Curry v. Audax, licensed CC BY 4.0 and available at https://wiki.creative
   Legal enforceability is one of the key features of CC licensing. While the licenses
are widely seen as symbols of free and open sharing, they also carry legal
weight. The CC legal code was written by lawyers with the help of a global net-
work of international copyright experts. The result is a set of terms and condi-
tions that are intended to operate and be enforceable everywhere in the world.

As noted above, there are different versions of CC licenses. These are not to
be confused with the different types of licenses described in section 3.3. The
license version number simply represents when that particular version of the
CC legal code was written. Creative Commons improves its licenses through
the process of versioning, by which we update the legal code to better account
for changes in copyright law and technology, and the needs of reusers. While
there are some differences between license versions, the different versions are
largely the same in practical effect. The latest version of the CC license suite is
Version 4.0, which was published in 2013. Details on what updates were made to
the licenses in Version 4.0 can be found at
-your-work/licensing-considerations/version4. For the most definitive and com­
prehensive view of how the licenses have changed from Version 1.0 to the pres-
ent, including all changes to the attribution and marking requirements, visit
the CC wiki page, licensed CC BY 4.0, available at https://wiki.creativecommons
   In all cases, we recommend that creators use the latest version of the licenses,
because it reflects the latest thinking of Creative Commons and its global net-
work of legal experts.
                                                       Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 57 -

The latest versions of all the CC licenses (and other tools) may be translated
into official versions in other languages. Creative Commons has a formal pro-
cess (see the Legal Code Translation Policy, licensed CC BY 4.0 and available
at by
which this is done in order to ensure that the translations are as close to the
original as possible. Creative Commons’ goal is to get the licenses into as many
languages as possible, so that everyone can read and understand the terms in
their native language. The official translations are noted at the bottom of the
legal code on all of the licenses and are equivalents of one another.
   Many people ask about the relationship between the official translations and
the English originals. All official translations are linguistic translations only,
unlike ported versions (which are described in the text box below). The official
translations are legal equivalents of one another, which means they have the
same legal meaning and effect in each language. This is similar to how standards
bodies such as the World Wide Web Consortium translate a single standard
into many different languages, and how the United Nations publishes treaties.

Since the publication of Version 1.0 of the licenses in 2002, Creative Commons
is aware of a relatively small number of disputes between licensors and reus-
ers over its licenses, including the NonCommercial term and attribution. There
may be several explanations for this state of harmony. As observed by Creative
Commons in its “Defining ‘Noncommercial’” report (licensed CC BY 3.0 and

Distinguishing ported versions of the pre-4.0 versions of the CC licenses.
Prior to the publication of Version 4.0 in November 2013, Creative Commons gave permis-
sion to the CC Global Network to “port” the Creative Commons licenses. Porting involved
linguistic translation and adjustments so that the licenses reflected local terminology and
drafting protocols, and it accounted for other local differences, such as the existence of moral
rights and collecting societies.
    One of the primary reasons for versioning the licenses from 3.0 to 4.0 was to eliminate
the need for porting, an unnecessarily complex process that could be eliminated if Creative
Commons took proper care to ensure that the new licenses were internationalized. Start-
ing with Version 4.0, the most recent version of the CC license suite, Creative Commons no
longer “ports” the licenses. The ported licenses of previous versions may still be used and
remain legally valid and enforceable; however, Creative Commons discourages their use
and recommends Version 4.0 as the latest and most up-to-date thinking of CC and its global
- 58 - CHAPTER 3

available at
Defining_Noncommercial_fullreport.pdf ), the expectations of licensors and
reusers of CC-licensed content may play a role here. For example, NC licensors
often intend for broad reuse of their NC-licensed content, as long as it is not
reused primarily for commercial gain. However, the reusers of NC-licensed
content may assume more conservative license terms around commercial
reuse. As a result, NC-licensed content is not often reused to the full extent
of the permissions that the license affords or the licensor intends. And often,
when disputes around CC-licensed content do arise, they are resolved amicably
and out of court, frequently without involving lawyers. Instead, disputes are
resolved through outreach by the licensor to the user, and an accord is struck to
fix any actual problem.
    Note that Creative Commons accounted for this practice in Version 4.0.
Whereas prior to 4.0, any violation of the license automatically terminated the
license, and the violator had to seek new and express permission from the licen-
sor to reuse the work again, in Version 4.0, the license automatically reinstates
if the violator corrects the problem within thirty days of having become aware
of it. This encourages reusers to do the right thing—correct their violations as
soon as possible upon discovery, whether or not the licensor has made a claim.
This can help avoid disputes.
    In many ways, both of these practices—being more generous and respectful,
and outreach to solve any perceived violations—are a testament to the values
held and practiced by the CC community of creators and reusers. Creative Com-
mons encourages healthy, open interactions between licensors and those reus-
ing their works.

Final Remarks
The legal robustness of the CC licenses is critically important. With the help
of an international network of legal and policy experts, the CC licenses are
accepted and enforceable worldwide. To date, no court has declared the licenses
unenforceable, and very few lawsuits have ensued. In the vast majority of cases,
the CC community has resolved any disputes outside of the courtroom.
                                                Anatom y of a C C L ic e n s e - 59 -

  •   “About the Open Publication License,” by David Wiley. CC BY 4.0.
         A brief history that outlines open content licensing and why the
         licenses were eventually replaced by the more robust Creative
         Commons licenses:

  •   “Creative Commons License,” Wikipedia article. CC BY-SA 3.0.
         This Wikipedia article explains the CC licenses and some use instruc-

  •   “About the Licenses,” by Creative Commons. CC BY 4.0.
         To read all of the CC license deeds and legal codes, visit this site and
         explore the different licenses:

Selected Frequently Asked Questions by Creative Commons
(CC BY 4.0)
  •   Do Creative Commons licenses affect the exceptions and limitations to copy-
      right, such as fair dealing and fair use? See

  •   May I apply a Creative Commons license to a work in the public domain?

  •   What happens if I offer my material under a Creative Commons license
      and someone misuses that material? See

  •   How can I lose my rights under a Creative Commons license? If that happens,
      how do I get them back? See

Participants’ Recommended Resources
CC Certificate participants have recommended many additional resources
through annotations on the Certificate website. While Creative
Commons has not vetted these resources, we wanted to highlight participants’
- 60 - CHAPTER 3

suggestions here:

   1. Remember that the term of copyright for works varies around the world. So, in
      some situations, a work may be in the public domain under the laws of Uganda
      but not in the public domain under the laws of Indonesia. This means that
      depending on the law that applies to your use (generally, where you are when
      using the work), the CC license may or may not apply.
                              Using CC Licenses and
                                 CC-Licensed Works
designed, you are ready to use CC licenses and CC0 for your own work, and
reuse CC-licensed works created by others.
   This chapter covers what you need to know as a CC licensor and as a reuser.
When your own CC-licensed work incorporates CC-licensed work made by oth-
ers, you are both!
   This chapter has five sections:

    1.   Choosing and Applying a CC License
    2.   Things to Consider after CC Licensing
    3.   Finding and Reusing CC-Licensed Work
    4.   Remixing CC-Licensed Work
    5.   Additional Resources

The act of applying a CC license is easy, but there are several important consid-
erations to think through before you do.

                                           FIGURE 4.1   CC BY License Icon
                                           CC BY License Button. Trademark:
                                            Creative Commons.

                                                                                       - 61 -
- 62 - CHAPTER 4

   •   Name the most important considerations before applying a CC license
       or CC0
   •   Apply a license using CC’s License Chooser and a CC0 using CC’s Public
       Domain Dedication
   •   Evaluate which license to apply based on the relevant factors

What should creators consider before applying a CC license or CC0 to their
work? There are several options for creators who choose to share their work
by using CC. There are also many things to think about before applying any CC
license or CC0, including whether you have all the rights you need and if not,
how you must indicate that to the public.

How would you go about choosing a particular CC license for your work? Do
you know how to go about actually attaching a license to your work once you
have chosen one? What if you change your mind about the license?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Before you decide that you want to apply a CC license or CC0 to your creative
work, there are some important things to consider:

   •   The licenses and CC0 are irrevocable. The word irrevocable means that a
       legal agreement cannot be canceled. This means that once you apply a CC
       license to a work, that license applies to the work until the copyright on
       the work expires. This aspect of CC licensing is highly desirable from the
       perspective of reusers because they can be confident that the creator can-
       not arbitrarily pull back the rights granted them under the CC license.
           »» Because the licenses are irrevocable, it is very important to care-

              fully consider your options before deciding to apply a CC license to
              a work.

   •   You must own or control copyright in the work. You should control copy-
       right in the work to which you apply the CC license. For example, you don’t
       own or control any copyright in a work that is in the public domain, and
       you don’t own or control the copyright to an Enrique Iglesias song. Fur-
                            Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 63 -

       thermore, if you created the material in the scope of your employment,
       you may not be the holder of the rights and may need to get permission
       from your employer before applying a CC license to it. Before licensing,
       be mindful about whether you have copyright to the work to which you’re
       applying a CC license.

The six CC licenses provide a range of options for creators who want to share
their work with the public while still retaining copyright. The best way to
decide which license is appropriate for you is to think about why you want to
share your work, and how you hope others will use that work.
   For example, here are a few questions to consider:

   •   Do you think people might make interesting new works out of your cre-
       ation? Do you want to give people the ability to translate your writing into
       different languages, or otherwise customize it for their own needs? If so,
       then you should choose a license that allows your work to be adapted.
   •   Is it important to you that your images are able to be incorporated into
       Wikipedia? If so, then you should choose either CC BY, BY-SA, or CC0,
       because Wikipedia does not allow images licensed under any of the Non-
       Commercial or NoDerivatives licenses except in limited circumstances.
   •   Do you want to give away all of your rights in your work so that it can
       be used by anyone in the world for any purpose? Then you might want to
       think about using the Public Domain Dedication tool, CC0.

   If you need some help deciding which license might be best for you, this flow-
chart from CC Australia might be useful (please note that the information it
contains is not legal advice): see figure 4.2 or go to

Once you’ve decided you want to use a CC license and know which license you
want to use, applying it is simple. Technically, all you have to do is indicate
which CC license you are applying to your work. However, we strongly rec-
ommend including a link (or writing out the CC license URL, if you are work-
ing offline) to the relevant CC license deed (e.g.,
licenses/by/4.0). You can do this in the copyright notice for your work, on the
- 64 - CHAPTER 4

FIGURE 4.2   Which Creative Commons license is right for me?
Image from Creative Commons Australia:
Author: CC Australia | CC BY 3.0 | Desaturated from original
                             Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 65 -

FIGURE 4.3   Screenshot of the footer of BC Open Textbooks

footer of your website, or any other place that makes sense in light of the partic-
ular format and medium of your work. The important thing is to make it clear
what the CC license covers and locate the notice in a place which makes that clear
to the public. See “Marking Your Work with a CC License” (licensed CC BY 4.0
and available at
_with_a_CC_license) on the Creative Commons website for more information.
   Indicating which CC license you choose can be as simple as the notice from
the footer of BC Open Textbooks (,
shown in figure 4.3.
   If you are on a platform like Medium or Flickr, you should use the built-in CC
license tools on the platform to mark your work with the CC license you choose.
   If you have a personal blog or a website, we recommend using the CC license
chooser to generate code that identifies your chosen license. That code can be
copied and inserted into your work online.
   You should take some time to play around with the CC license chooser, at, now (figure 4.4). After you select the
boxes that indicate your preferences, the chooser generates the appropriate
license based on your selections. Remember, the license chooser is not a regis-
tration page, it simply provides you with standardized HTML code, icons and
license statements.
   In figure 4.4, do you see the text and icon just above the code? That text/links
can also be copied and pasted onto your work to mark the work with a CC license.
   If you want to mark the work in a different way or need to use a different
format like closing titles in a video, you can visit
about/downloads/ and access downloadable versions of all of the CC icons.

How to Apply a CC0 License
Like the licenses, CC0 has its own chooser. If you want to dedicate your work to the public
domain, you can go to Complete the
required fields, agree to the terms, and then get the metadata to mark your work with a CC0
- 66 - CHAPTER 4

FIGURE 4.4   CC License Chooser
                          Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 67 -

  Whatever method you use to mark your content, there are several import-
ant steps for proper CC license marking. Here are three cases in which you will
mark CC-licensed works:

    1. Marking your own work so that others can easily discover it, reuse it, and
       give you credit or attribution. The best practice for marking your work
       is to follow the TASL approach for your own portions of the content, and
       for the portions of the content created by others:

         »» T = Title

         »» A = Author (tell reusers who to give credit to)

         »» S = Source (give reusers a link to the resource)

         »» L = License (provide a link to the CC license deed)

      When providing attribution, the goal is to mark the work with full TASL
      information. When you don’t have some of the TASL information about
      a work, do the best you can and include as much detail as possible in the
      marking statement.
          You should note that starting with Version 4.0, the licenses no longer
      require a reuser to include the title as part of the attribution statement.
      However, if the title is provided, then Creative Commons encourages you
      to include it when attributing the author.
          For more examples of how to mark your own work in different con-
      texts, spend some time looking through Creative Commons’ extensive
      marking page “Marking Your Work with a CC License” (licensed CC BY
      4.0 and available at
      _your_work_with_a_CC_license). See the caption of figure 4.5 as an exam-
      ple of marking an image with TASL information. It is a good example of
      CC marking because TASL with all appropriate links is provided in the
      attribution statement.

   2. Indicating if your work is based on someone else’s work. If your work is a
      modification or adaptation of another work, you should indicate this and
      provide attribution to the creator of the original work. You should also
      include a link to the work you modified and indicate what license applies
      to that work. Figure 4.6 is an example of this.

   3. Marking work created by others that you are incorporating into your own
      work. Figure 4.7 is an example here from a Saylor Academy course.
- 68 - CHAPTER 4

FIGURE 4.5                                This work, “90fied,” is a derivate of
Creative Commons 10th birthday            “Creative Commons 10th Birthday
celebration in San Francisco              Celebration San Francisco” (
Image from Flickr:
                                          6923) by tvol (
                                          photos/sixteenmilesofstring/), used
Author: tvol | CC BY 2.0
                                          under CC BY (https://creativecommons
Desaturated from original                 .org/licenses/by/2.0/). “90fied” is licensed
                                          under CC BY by [Your name here].

                                        FIGURE 4.6
                                        Example of a modification of
                                        another work and the attribution
                                        you would apply
                                        Desaturated from original

   In every case, the goals are the same: you want to make it easy for others to
know who created which parts of the work. To do this, you should (1) identify
the terms under which any given work, or part of a work, can be used, and (2)
provide information about the works you used to create your new work or that
you incorporated into your work.

Final Remarks
When applying a CC license to a work, you should (1) use the CC license chooser
to determine which CC license best meets your needs. Apply the license code if
possible, or copy and paste the text and links provided. (2) If you are using an
online platform, use the built-in CC license tools to mark your work with a CC
license. (3) Mark your work and give proper attribution to others’ works using
the TASL approach.
                             Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 69 -

FIGURE 4.7   Example of marking works created by others

    There is no single answer for which CC license is the best one for your work.
It is important to remember why you are sharing your work and what you hope
others might do with it, before making your CC license choice.

Applying a CC license alone is not enough to ensure that your work is freely
available for easy reuse and remix. Licensors must also consider additional fac-
tors that affect the accessibility and usability of their works for future users.

    •   Explain why CC discourages changing the license terms
    •   Explain how a paywall affects CC-licensed content
    •   Describe why the technical format of content is significant
    •   Describe what happens when someone changes their mind about CC
- 70 - CHAPTER 4

One of the most important aspects of Creative Commons licenses is that they are
standardized. This makes it much easier for the public to understand how the
licenses work and what reusers have to do to meet their obligations.
   But CC licenses do not apply to works in a vacuum. CC-licensed works usu-
ally live on websites that have their own terms of service. Or sometimes, these
works are not in formats that make it easy to reuse or adapt them. And the
works are often available in hard-copy form for a price.

Have you ever found a CC-licensed work that you weren’t easily able to copy
and share? What made it hard to reuse as intended? Was it an issue of technical
format, or were there access restrictions on the work, or something else?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Creative Commons licenses are standardized licenses, which means the terms
and conditions are the same for all works subject to the same type of CC license.
This is an essential feature of their design, enabling the public to remix CC-
licensed works. It also makes the licenses easy to understand.
    But people and institutions that use the licenses have diverse needs and
wants. Sometimes creators want slightly different terms rather than the stan-
dard terms that CC licenses offer.
    Creative Commons strongly discourages people from customizing open
copyright licenses because this creates confusion, requires users to take the
time to learn about how the custom license differs, and eliminates the bene-
fits of standardization. If you change any of the terms and conditions of a CC
license, you cannot call it a Creative Commons license or otherwise use the CC
trademarks. This rule also applies if you try to add restrictions on what people
can do with CC-licensed work through your separate agreements, such as web-
site terms of service. For example, your website’s terms of service can’t tell peo-
ple they can’t copy a CC-licensed work (if they are complying with the license
terms). You can, however, make your CC-licensed work available on more per-
missive terms and still call it a CC license. For example, you may waive your
right to receive attribution.
    Creative Commons has a detailed legal policy, Modifying the CC Licenses,
(licensed CC BY 4.0 and available at
Modifying_the_CC_licenses) which outlines these rules. However, the best way
to apply them is to ask yourself: “Is what I want to do going to make it easier or
                              Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 71 -

harder for people to use my CC-licensed work?” If the latter, then generally it’s
a restriction and you can’t do it unless you remove the Creative Commons name
from the work.
   Note that all of the above applies to creators of CC-licensed work. You can
never change the legal terms that apply to someone else’s CC-licensed work.

The first part of this section dealt with the requirements connected to changing
the legal terms on a CC-licensed work, whether by actually changing the license
terms or using separate contracts to try to do so.
    But what if you simply want to sell a CC-licensed work?
    If you are the creator, then selling your work is always okay. In fact, selling
physical copies (e.g., a textbook) and providing digital copies for free is a very
common method for making money while using CC licenses.
    Figure 4.8 highlights Cards Against Humanity, a card game available under
a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. Cards Against Humanity offers their
cards decks online for free download but sells physical copies.
    Charging for access to digital copies of a CC-licensed work is more difficult. It
is permissible, but once someone pays for a copy of your work, they can legally
distribute it to others for free under the terms of the applicable CC license.

FIGURE 4.8   Stack of Cards Against Humanity packs
Photo from Flickr:
Author: jareed | CC BY 2.0 | Desaturated from original
- 72 - CHAPTER 4

   If you are charging for access to someone else’s CC-licensed work—whether a
physical copy or digital version—you have to pay attention to the particular CC
license applied to the work. If the CC license includes the NonCommercial (NC)
restriction, then you cannot charge the public to access the work.

Formats: Simply applying a CC license to a creative work does not necessarily
make it easy for others to reuse and remix it. Think about what technical for-
mat you are using for your content (e.g., PDF or MP3). Can people download
your work? Can they easily edit or remix it if the license allows? In addition
to the final polished version, many creators distribute editable source files of
their content to make it easier for those who want to use the work for their own
purposes. For example, in addition to the physical book or e-book, you might
want to distribute files of a CC-licensed book that enable people to easily cut and
paste the content into their own works.
   DRM: Using a distribution platform that applies digital rights management
(DRM), such as copy protection technology, to your work is another way you
can inadvertently make it very hard for reusers to make use of the permissions
in the CC license. If you have to upload your CC-licensed works to a platform
that uses DRM, you should consider also distributing the same content on sites
that do not use DRM.
   Note that the CC licenses prohibit you from applying DRM to someone else’s
CC-licensed work without their permission.

Inevitably, there are creators who apply a CC license to a work and then later
decide they want to offer that work on different terms. Even though the original
license cannot be revoked, the creator is free to also offer the work under a dif-
ferent license. Similarly, the creator is free to remove the copy of the work that
they placed online.
   In these cases, anyone who finds the work under the original license is
legally permitted to use it under those terms until the copyright expires. But as
a practical matter, reusers may want to comply with the creator’s new wishes as
a matter of respect.
                            Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 73 -

As long as users abide by the license terms and conditions, authors/licensors
cannot control how their material is used. That said, all CC licenses provide sev-
eral mechanisms that allow licensors to choose not to be associated with their
material, or to uses of their material with which they disagree.

   •   First, all CC licenses prohibit using the attribution requirement to sug-
       gest that the licensor endorses or supports a particular use.
   •   Second, licensors may waive the attribution requirement, choosing not to
       be identified as the licensor, if they wish.
   •   Third, if the licensor does not like how the material has been modified or
       used, CC licenses require that the licensee remove the attribution informa-
       tion upon request. (In Version 3.0 and earlier, this is only a requirement
       for adaptations and collections; in 4.0, this also applies to the unmodified
   •   Finally, anyone modifying licensed material must indicate that the
       original has been modified. This ensures that changes made to the orig-
       inal material—whether or not the licensor approves of them—are not
       attributed back to the licensor.
   •   Furthermore, it is important to remember that:
            »» The Commons is full of good people who want to do the right thing,

               so we rarely see much “abuse” of openly licensed works. Using CC
               licenses gives good, responsible people the freedom to use and
               build on your work.
            »» Copyright and/or open copyright licenses don’t keep “bad” people

               from doing “bad” things with your work if they don’t care about
               copyright in the first place.

In the sixteen years since our licenses were first published, the number of law-
suits turning on the interpretation of a CC license has been extremely low, espe-
cially considering that more than 1.6 billion CC-licensed works are available on
the Internet. CC licenses have fared incredibly well in court, and disputes are
rare when compared to the number of lawsuits between the parties to privately
negotiated, custom licenses.1
- 74 - CHAPTER 4

   In 2017−18 there were three legal cases that involved CC licenses: Great Minds
vs. FedEx Office, Great Minds vs. Office Depot, and Philpot vs. Media Research
Center. The outcomes of the court decisions for these three cases favored the
enforceability of CC licenses and their role in enabling the sharing of content
with the public.

Great Minds vs. FedEx Office and Great Minds vs. Office Depot
Two of the three cases were raised by Great Minds, a curriculum developer.2 In
these two cases, Great Minds received public funding from New York State to
develop OER (open educational resources) for school districts, which the orga-
nization licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. Great Minds brought the court cases
against commercial copy shops that were hired by school districts to reproduce
NC-licensed OER. The OER were for school use, which qualified as a noncom-
mercial purpose.
   Great Minds made a common assertion in both cases: school districts are not
allowed to outsource the reproduction of educational materials licensed under
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 to contractors (the contractors were the commercial print
shops in these cases) that make a profit on those reproductions. Great Minds’
theory was that it was lawful for a school district employee to go to a copy shop
and pay to use their copiers; however, if the same school employee paid the copy
shop to hit “PRINT” instead, the copy shop is no longer working on behalf of, or
under the direction of the school district—but is instead acting independently;
therefore, the copy shop has to directly rely on its own NC license to make and
charge a fee for the very same copies.
   Because they had applied a noncommercial license to their OER, Great Minds
claimed that the school districts working with the OER were not allowed to
engage FedEx or Office Depot to reproduce the materials, and that because the
copy shops had made a profit, they had violated the license. Importantly, Great
Minds never alleged that the school districts’ use of the reproduced materials
violated the noncommercial restriction of the license.
   The central question in both cases was whether a licensee (a school district
that is properly using the work for noncommercial purposes) may outsource
the reproduction of the works to another entity that makes a profit on those
reproductions, without the entity it pays becoming a copyright infringer under
the NC license.
                           Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 75 -

   In both cases, the district courts agreed with the copy shop and found that no
copyright infringement or violation of the CC license had occurred. For addi-
tional details on the court cases, see the Additional Resources section at the end
of this chapter.

Philpot vs. Media Research Center
The third case, Philpot vs. Media Research Center, Inc.,3 involved Larry Phil-
pot, who voluntarily shared two photographs on Wikimedia under a Creative
Commons license. Philpot complained that Media Research Center (MRC) had
infringed his copyrights when it published his photographs in articles without
    Following discovery (the phase of litigation during which factual evidence
is gathered), MRC filed a motion for a summary judgment asking the court to
find that it had not infringed Philpot’s copyrights because it used the photos
for purposes of news and commentary, and those uses constitute fair use under
U.S. copyright law.
    In its decision granting the motion for summary judgment, the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Virginia rejected Philpot’s argument that
a “meeting of the minds” had to occur before the CC license used by Philpot
    The district court ultimately found that MRC’s uses of the two photographs
constituted fair use under U.S. copyright law, and as a result MRC had not vio-
lated Philpot’s copyrights. The court concluded that because fair use applied,
attribution under the CC license was not required, and so MRC had not infringed
Philpot’s copyrights. Compliance with the license had not been violated because
a copyright license does not apply where fair use applies.
    Fair use eliminates the need to rely on or comply with a CC license. This is the
core design of all CC licenses—CC licenses grant permission when permission
is required under copyright law. They communicate the licensor’s intention to
grant permission where permission is needed. And CC licenses are designed to
be effective and enforceable without necessarily meeting the requirements of a
contract. The law of contracts or obligations varies around the world, and there
are some legal systems that may treat CC licenses as enforceable under the law
of obligations. This court correctly determined that under U.S. law the licenses
effectively grant permission without needing to meet the formal requirements
of a contract because the intention to grant permission is all that is needed.
- 76 - CHAPTER 4

Final Remarks
Sharing your content using Creative Commons licenses is generous, but that
alone is not enough to make it easy for others to reuse and remix your work.
You should spend some time thinking from the perspective of someone who
finds your shared content. How easy is it for them to download, reuse, and
revise it? Are there legal or technical obstacles that make it difficult for them to
do the things the CC license is designed to allow?

The “knowledge commons” of CC-licensed and public domain works is a plenti-
ful resource that is available to all of us. But when you draw from it, remember
to give credit to the creator and follow the other relevant license terms.

   •   Search for and discover CC-licensed works
   •   Give proper attribution when reusing CC-licensed works

There are more than a billion CC-licensed works on the web. How do you find
what might be useful to you? And once you do, what do you need to do when you
reuse it?
   There are several different ways to go about discovering CC-licensed works.
Search engines can help you search across the web, or you can target particular
platforms or sites. When you find a work to reuse, the most important thing to
do is provide proper attribution to the work’s licensor.

Think about a few of the CC-licensed works you have seen or interacted with.
How did you find them? Did you know how to attribute the author if you shared
the work?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
When you are seeking CC-licensed works to reuse, there are several strate-
gies to consider. One good starting point is CC Search (https://search.creative
                           Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 77 -, which is a tool that lets you search twelve major repositories
of CC content online. Creative Commons is currently working on a project to
improve the search tools it offers to help people discover works in the commons.
Check out the prototype of a new version of CC Search at (https://ccsearch., which lets you create and save lists of works you like
and includes a tool that enables you to give attribution with a single click.
   These search tools only scratch the surface of what is in the commons. Many
platforms that enable the CC licensing of works shared on their sites also have
their own search filters to find CC content, like OER Commons.
   If there is a particular type of content you’re looking for, you may be able
to narrow down particular sources to explore. Wikipedia offers a fairly com-
prehensive listing (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0) of many major sources of CC mate-
rial across various domains at
   You can also search for works under a particular CC license. Take a look at
the Creative Commons overview of each license that includes examples of pro­
jects and people using those licenses:

   •   You can find examples of use organized by CC license at https://creative
   •   You can find examples of works placed into the public domain using CC0

When you find a CC work you want to reuse, the single most important thing
to know is how to provide attribution. All CC licenses require that attribution be
given to the creator. (Remember that unlike the CC licenses, CC0 is not a license
but a Public Domain Dedication tool, so it does not require attribution in its
terms. Nevertheless, giving credit or citing the source is typically considered
best practice even when not legally required.)
   The elements of attribution are simple, though generally speaking, the
more information you can provide, the better. People like to understand where
CC-licensed works come from, and creators like to know that their names will
remain attached to their works. If an author has provided extensive informa-
tion in their attribution notice, you should retain it where possible.
- 78 - CHAPTER 4

  As mentioned in section 4.1, the best practice for attribution is applying the
TASL approach.

      T = Title
      A = Author
      S = Source
      L = License

    The attribution requirements in the CC licenses are purposely designed to
be fairly flexible in order to account for the many ways content is used. A film-
maker will have different options for giving credit than a scientist publishing
an academic paper. Explore the CC wiki page “Best Practices for Attribution”
(licensed CC BY 4.0 and available at
Best_practices_for_attribution). Among the options listed, think about how you
would prefer to be attributed for your own work.
    Creative Commons is also exploring ways to automate attribution. Explore
this feature by going to the CC search tool (https://ccsearch.creativecommons
.org) and searching for “golden retrievers.” Then, click on a couple of different
photos to see how attribution is given, and experiment with the “copy credit as
text” and “copy credit as HTML” functions.
    The other main consideration when copying works (as opposed to remixing,
which will be covered in the next section of this chapter) is the NonCommer-
cial restriction. If the work you are using is published with one of the three CC
licenses that includes the NC element, then you need to make sure that you’re
not using it for a commercial purpose.
    Remember, you can always reach out to the creator if you want to request
extra permission beyond what the license allows.

Final Remarks
Attribution is arguably the single most important aspect of Creative Commons
licensing. Think about why you want credit for your own work, even when it
may not be legally required. What value does attribution provide to authors,
and to the public who comes across the work online?
                           Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 79 -

Combining and adapting CC-licensed works is where things can get a little
tricky. This section will give you the tools you need.

   •   Describe the basics of what it means to create an adaptation
   •   Explain the scope of the ShareAlike clause
   •   Explain the scope of the NoDerivatives clause
   •   Identify what license compatibility means and how to determine whether
       licenses are compatible

The great promise of Creative Commons licensing is that it increases the pool of
content from which we can draw to create new works. But to take advantage of
this potential, you have to understand when and how you can incorporate and
adapt CC-licensed works. This requires careful attention to the particular CC
licenses that apply, as well as a working understanding of the legal concept of
adaptations as a matter of copyright.

Personal Reflection: Why It Matters to You
Have you ever wondered how to use a CC-licensed work created by someone else
in something you are creating? Have you ever come across a CC-licensed work
you wanted to reuse, but were unsure about whether doing so would require
you to apply a ShareAlike license to what you created?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Copying a CC-licensed work and sharing it is pretty simple. Just make sure to
provide attribution and refrain from using the work for commercial purposes
if it is licensed with one of the NonCommercial licenses.
    But what if you are changing a CC-licensed work or incorporating it into a
new work? First, remember that if your use of someone else’s CC-licensed work
falls under an exception or limitation to copyright (like fair use or fair dealing),
then you have no obligations under the CC license. But if that is not the case,
then you need to rely on the CC license for permission to adapt the work. The
threshold question then becomes, is what you are doing creating an adaptation?
- 80 - CHAPTER 4

   An “adaptation” (or a “derivative work,” as it is called in some parts of the
world) is a special term in copyright law.4 It means a “modified” or “trans-
formed” work that has been created from a copyrighted work and that is suffi-
ciently original to itself to be protected by copyright. (It can thus be regarded as
a “new” work.) Whether a transformed work differs sufficiently from the orig-
inal work to be called an “adaptation” is not always easy to determine, though
some bright lines do exist. Read the explanation on the Creative Commons site
at about what con-
stitutes an adaptation. Some examples of adaptations include a film based on a
novel and a translation of a book from one language into another.
   Keep in mind that not all changes to a work result in the creation of an adap-
tation—such as spelling corrections. Also remember that to constitute an adap-
tation, the resulting work must be considered based on or derived from the orig-
inal. This means that if you use a few lines from a poem to illustrate a poetry
technique in an article you’re writing, your article is not an adaptation because
your article is not derived from or based on the poem from which you took a few
lines. However, if you rearranged the stanzas in the poem and added new lines,
then almost certainly the resulting work would be considered an adaptation.
   Here are some particular types of adaptations to consider (some of them
should be familiar from earlier sections of this book):

    •   Taking excerpts of a larger work. Read the relevant FAQ at https://
    •   Using a work in a different format. Read the relevant FAQ at https://
    •   Modifying a work. Read the relevant FAQ at https://creativecommons

Fundamental principle
As of Version 4.0, all CC licenses, even the NoDerivatives licenses, allow anyone to make an
adaptation of a CC-licensed work. The difference between ND licenses and the other licenses
is that if an adaptation of an ND-licensed work has been created, it cannot be shared with
others. So an individual can create adaptations of an ND-licensed work, but he/she is not
allowed to share these with others, including the learners at an educational institution.
                           Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 81 -

  If your reuse of a CC-licensed work does not create an adaptation, then

   •   you are not required to apply a ShareAlike-license to your overall work
       if you are using an SA-licensed work within it;
   •   the ND restriction does not prevent you from using an ND-licensed
       work; and
   •   you can combine that CC-licensed material with other work as long as you
       attribute and comply with the NonCommercial restriction if it applies.

   If your reuse of a CC-licensed work does create an adaptation, then there are
limits on whether and how you may share the adapted work. We will look at
those next. But first, a note about collections of materials.

Introductory note: The distinction between adaptations and collections is one
of the trickiest concepts in copyright law. While there are many situations in
which the differences are clear, there are also several ambiguous scenarios.
The distinction between adaptations and remixes is even less clear; it varies
by jurisdiction, and even within a given jurisdiction, a judge’s determination
between the two can be subjective, since there are few definitive rules on which
to rely.
   In contrast to an adaptation or remix, a collection involves the assembly of
separate and independent creative works into a collective whole. A collection
is not an adaptation. One community member likened the difference between
adaptations and collections to smoothies and TV dinners, respectively:

    1. Like a smoothie (figure 4.9), an adaptation or remix mixes material from
       different sources to create a wholly new work.
           In an adaptation or remix (and a smoothie), you often cannot tell where
       one constituent work ends and another one begins. While this flexibility
       is useful for the new creator, it is still important to provide attribution to
       the individual parts that went into making the adaptation.
           An example of an educational adaptation would be an open textbook
       chapter that weaves together multiple OER in such a way that the reader
       can’t tell which resource was used on which page. That said, the endnotes
       of the book chapter should still provide attribution to all of the sources
       that were remixed in the chapter.
- 82 - CHAPTER 4

                                                FIGURE 4.9   CC Smoothie
                                                Author: Nate Angell | CC BY
                                                Derivative of “Strawberry Smoothie
                                                 on Glass Jar” by Element5
                                                 in the public domain, and various
                                                 Creative Commons license icons
                                                 by Creative Commons (https://
                                                 downloads) used under CC BY.
                                                Desaturated from original

    2. Like a TV dinner (figure 4.10), a collection groups different works
       together; however, a collection keeps them organized as distinct and sep-
       arate objects. An example of a collection would be a book that consists of
       a group of essays from different sources, or by different authors.
          When you create a collection, you must provide attribution and
       licensing information about each of the individual works in that collec-
       tion. This gives the public the information they need to understand who
       created what and which license terms apply to specific content. You can
       revisit section 4.1 “Choosing and Applying a CC License” to learn how
       to properly indicate the copyright status of third-party works that you
       incorporate into your new work.
          When you combine material into a collection, you may have a separate
       copyright of your own that you may license. However, your copyright

               FIGURE 4.10   CC TV Dinner
                Author: Nate Angell | CC BY
       Derivative of “tv dinner 1” by adrigu
        ( under CC
         BY, and various Creative Commons
        license icons by Creative Commons
              downloads) used under CC BY.
                  Desaturated from original
                            Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 83 -

        only extends to the new contributions that you made to the work. In a
        collection, this is the selection and arrangement of the various works in
        the collection, and not the individual works themselves. For example,
        you can select and arrange pre-existing poems published by others into
        an anthology, write an introduction, and design a cover for the collec-
        tion, but your copyright and the only copyright you can license extends
        to your arrangement of the poems (not the poems themselves), and your
        original introduction and cover. The poems are not yours to license.

General rules
   •   If the underlying work is licensed under a NoDerivatives license, you can
       make and use changes privately, but you cannot share your adaptation
       with others, as discussed above.
   •   If the underlying or original work is licensed under a ShareAlike license, then
       ShareAlike applies to your adaptation of it, and you must license the adapta-
       tion under the same or a compatible license. There is more on this below.
   •   You need to consider license compatibility. License compatibility is the
       term used to address the issue of which types of licensed works can be
       adapted into a new work.
   •    In all cases, you have to attribute the original work when you create an

When creating an adaptation of a CC-licensed work, the simplest scenario is
when you take a single CC-licensed work and adapt it.
   The more complicated scenario is when you are adapting two or more CC-
licensed works into a new work.
   In both situations, you need to consider what options you have for licensing
the copyright you have in your adaptation; this is called the Adapter’s License.
Remember that your rights in your adaptation only apply to your own contri-
butions. The original license continues to govern the reuse of the elements from
the original work that you used when creating your adaptation. The “CC Adapt-
ers License Chart,” shown in figure 4.11, may be a helpful guide. When creating
an adaptation of material under the license identified in the left-hand column,
you may license your contributions to the adaptation under one of the licenses
indicated on the top row if the corresponding box is dark gray. Creative Com-
- 84 - CHAPTER 4

FIGURE 4.11   CC adapter’s license chart
Figure from Creative Commons:
CC BY 4.0 | Desaturated from original

mons does not recommend using a license if the corresponding box is white,
although doing so is technically permitted by the terms of the license. If you do,
you should take additional care to mark the adaptation as involving multiple
copyrights under different terms, so that downstream users are aware of their
obligations to comply with the licenses from all rights holders. The light gray
boxes indicate those licenses that you may not use as your adapter’s license.

If the underlying work is licensed with BY or BY-NC, we recommend that your
adapter’s license include at least the same license elements as the license
applied to the original. For example, if one adapts a BY-NC work, she will apply
BY-NC to her adaptation. If one adapts a BY work, she could apply either BY or
BY-NC to her adaptation.
    If the underlying work is licensed with BY-SA or BY-NC-SA, your adapter’s
license must be the same license applied to the original or a license that is desig-
nated as compatible to the original license. We’ll discuss license compatibility
in more detail below.
    Remember, if the underlying work is licensed with BY-ND or BY-NC-ND, you
cannot distribute adaptations, so you don’t need to be concerned about what
adapter’s license to apply.
                             Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 85 -

When people talk about licenses being “compatible,” they can be referring to
several different situations.
   One type of license compatibility involves the question of what licenses you
can use for your adapter’s license when you adapt a work. This is what we dis-
cussed above. For example, BY-NC is compatible with BY, in the sense that one
can adapt a BY work and use BY-NC on her adaptation.
   By definition, the ShareAlike licenses have very few compatible licenses. All
SA licenses after Version 1.0 allow you to use a later version of the same license
on your adaptation. For example, if you remix a BY-SA 2.0 work, you can, and
should, apply BY-SA 4.0 to your adaptation. There are also a small number of
non-CC licenses that have been designated as CC Compatible Licenses for Share-
Alike purposes. You can read more about this at
   Another type of license compatibility relates to what licenses are compatible
when adapting (more commonly referred to as “remixing” in this context) more
than one pre-existing work. The remix chart in figure 4.12 may be a helpful
guide in these circumstances. To use the chart, find a license that applies to one
of the works on the left-hand column and the license that applies to the other

FIGURE 4.12   CC License Compatibility Chart
Figure from Creative Commons:
CC BY 4.0 | Destaurated from original
- 86 - CHAPTER 4

work on the top right row. If there is a checkmark in the box where that row and
column intersect, then the works under those two licenses can be remixed. If
there is an “X” in the box, then the works may not be remixed unless an excep-
tion or limitation applies.
   When using the chart, you can determine which license to use for your adap-
tation by choosing the more restrictive of the two licenses on the works you’re
combining. While this technically isn’t your only option for your adapter’s
license, it is best practice because it eases reuse for downstream users.

Final Remarks
It can be intimidating to approach remixing in a way that is consistent with
copyright. In this section, hopefully you gained some tools for how to approach
the task. The threshold question is whether an adaptation under copyright is
created. Once that is answered, you have the information you need to deter-
mine what works from the commons you can incorporate into your work.

Additional Details on the Court Cases in Section 4.2
“Things to Consider after CC Licensing”
In the FedEx Office case, the decision was affirmed by the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court
of Appeals, which stated: “In sum, the unambiguous terms of License permit
FedEx to copy the Materials on behalf of a school district exercising rights under
the License and charge that district for that copying at a rate more than FedEx’s
cost, in the absence of any claim that the school district is using the Materials
for other than a ‘non-Commercial purpose.’ The motion to dismiss is granted.”
   With the Office Depot case, Great Minds claimed that the copy store had vio-
lated the BY-NC-SA 4.0 license for the same reasons FedEx Office did; however,
Great Minds also claimed that because Office Depot had reached out to school
districts to solicit reproduction orders, the solicitation was additional evidence
of a license violation. The other difference with the FedEx Office case was that
Great Minds and Office Depot had entered into a contract specifying that Office
Depot could reproduce the same publicly funded educational materials for
school districts and would pay royalties to Great Minds.5
   The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California agreed with
Office Depot, stating that it “concludes that the Creative Commons Public
License unambiguously grants the licensee schools and school districts the
                            Usi ng CC Lice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 87 -

right ‘to reproduce and Share the Licensed Material, in whole or in part, for
NonCommercial purposes only,’ and does not prohibit the schools and school
districts from employing third parties, such as Office Depot, to make copies of
the Materials. . . . Because the schools and school districts are the entities exer-
cising the rights granted under the Creative Commons Public License, it is irrel-
evant that Office Depot may have profited from making copies for schools and
school districts.”
   Furthermore, the district court stated: “The Creative Commons Public
License at issue authorizes schools to: (1) reproduce and use the Materials for
NonCommercial purposes, (2) expressly permits the schools to provide those
Materials to the public ‘by any means or process,’ and (3) does not prohibit the
schools from outsourcing the copying to third-party vendors. Because a licensee
may lawfully use a third-party agent or contractor to assist it in exercising its
licensed rights, absent contractual provisions prohibiting such activity, Great
Minds has failed to allege that Office Depot’s conduct was outside the scope of
the license and, thus, Great Minds’ claim for copyright infringement against
Office Depot fails.” The court also addressed Office Depot’s alleged solicitation
of school districts’ reproduction business. The court did not find the difference
urged by Great Minds persuasive or that it should change the outcome. The
Office Depot case remains pending on appeal before the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of
Appeals as of August 15, 2019. Oral argument appears likely in November 2019,
and a decision will follow.

More Information about Modifying the Licenses
The following two entries are selected “Frequently Asked Questions,” by Cre-
ative Commons. CC BY 4.0.

   •   “Can I change the license terms and conditions?” https://creativecommons.

   •   “Can I enter into separate or supplemental agreements with users of my

   •   “Modifying the CC Licenses,” by Creative Commons. CC BY 4.0.
         This provides Creative Commons policy guidance for modifying the
         CC licenses:
- 88 - CHAPTER 4

More Information about Marking Licensed Works
   •   “Marking/Creators/Marking Third Party Content,” by Creative Commons.
       CC BY 4.0.
          This wiki provides best practices and nuanced information on the
          marking of third-party content:

More Information about License Compatibility
   •   “Compatible Licenses,” by Creative Commons. CC BY 4.0.
          This is a page with information on which licenses are compatible, how
          compatibility works, and where there may not necessarily be compati-
          bility between licenses:

   •   “Wiki/CC License Compatibility,” by Creative Commons. CC BY 4.0.
         This page gives more information on the CC license compatibility

   •   “License Compatibility,” Wikipedia article. CC BY-SA 3.0.
           This is Wikipedia’s article on license compatibility, including open
           licenses that are not CC licenses:

More Scholarship about CC Licenses
   •   “Creative Commons Licenses Legal Pitfalls: Incompatibilities and Solutions,”
       by Melanie Dulong de Rosnay at the Institute for Information Law at the
       University of Amsterdam and Creative Commons Netherlands. CC BY 3.0 NL.
          This is a detailed report on the more nuanced and legal aspects
          of incompatibilities which apply in a variety of international

   •   “User-Related Drawbacks of Open Content Licensing,” by Till Kreutzer in
       Open Content Licensing: From Theory to Practice, edited by Lucie Guibault
       and Christina Angelopoulos (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press,
       2011). CC BY NC 3.0
                            Usi ng CC L ice n se s an d C C - L ic e n s e d Wor k s - 89 -

        This is a book chapter about some complicated issues that pertain to
        the users of openly licensed materials (including CC licenses).

Participants’ Recommended Resources
CC Certificate participants have recommended many additional resources
through annotations on the Certificate website. While Creative
Commons has not vetted these resources, we wanted to highlight the partici-
pants’ suggestions here:

   1. One of Creative Commons’ roles is to serve as a responsible public license stew-
      ard, actively providing guidance and education about its licenses. When Creative
      Commons considers weighing in on disputes with commentary or the filing of
      friend-of-the-court briefs, CC always acts as an advocate for the licenses and their
      proper interpretation, never in favor of or against a particular litigant. For a
      detailed analysis of Creative Commons case law, see section 3.4 “License Enforce-
      ability.” Creative Commons maintains a database of court decisions and case law
      from jurisdictions around the world on the Creative Commons wiki for Case
      Law (licensed CC BY 4.0, available at

   2. The official names of the court cases are: “Great Minds v. FedEx Office and Print
      Services, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Civil
      Action 2:16-cv-01462-DRH-ARL)” and “Great Minds vs. Office Depot, Inc., U.S.
      District Court for the Central District of California (CV 17-7435-JFW).”

   3. The official name of the court case is “Larry Philpot v Media Research Center Inc.,
      U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Case 1:17-cv-822.”

   4. You learned about the terms adaptation and derivative work in chapter 2, and
      how CC licenses use those terms.

   5. According to the complaint, this contract was entered into while FedEx Office
      was pending. However, once the district court granted the motion to dismiss
      in favor of FedEx Office, Office Depot terminated its contract with Great Minds
      shortly before it expired and, in reliance on the FedEx Office decision, continued
      to reproduce Great Minds’ materials for school districts without paying royalties
      to Great Minds.
                       Creative Commons for
                    Librarians and Educators
information environment, expertise in open licensing has become a crucial
asset for the modern librarian.
   Creative Commons powers the open education movement with tools that help
create better, more flexible, and more sustainable open educational resources
(OER), practices, and policies. Creative Commons licenses are the most popu-
lar open licenses in open education and Open Access (OA) projects around the
world; CC puts the “open” in OER and OA. This chapter will introduce you to
the specifics of using CC licenses and CC-licensed content for educational and
research purposes.
   This chapter has seven sections:

   1.   Open Access to Scholarship
   2.   Open Pedagogy and Practices
   3.   OER, Open Textbooks, Open Courses
   4.   Finding, Evaluating, and Adapting Resources
   5.   Creating and Sharing OER
   6.   Opening Up Your Institution
   7.   Additional Resources

   Before you start this chapter, you should consider joining the Creative Com-
mons Open Education Platform at
invitation-join-cc-open-education-platform. Your input can help us identify,
plan, and coordinate multinational open education content, practices, and pol-

                                                                           - 91 -
- 92 - CHAPTER 5

icy projects in order to collaboratively solve education challenges around the
world. Be sure to briefly tell us (1) why you’d like to join and (2) who you are—
this helps CC avoid accepting “spammers.”

What is Open Access scholarly literature? Open Access literature is digital,
online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licensing restrictions.
Open Access stands in contrast to the existing “closed” system for communi-
cating scientific and scholarly research. This system is slow, expensive, and
ill-suited for research collaboration and discovery. And even though scholarly
research is largely produced as a result of public funding, the results are often
hidden behind technical, legal, and financial barriers or paywalls. Open Access
publishing is an alternative model—one that takes full advantage of digital
technologies, the web, and open licensing to provide free access to scholarship.

   •   Define Open Access
   •   Explain the benefits of Open Access for your learners and for
       researchers at your institution
   •   Understand how authors and researchers can make their own
       works Open Access

The purpose of scientific inquiry at a university is the fundamental search for
knowledge. Teaching, the open exchange of ideas, and the process of publishing
original research are all methods by which academic faculty, learners, staff, and
others contribute to advancing scholarship.
   How well do the current practices of accessing and sharing information
within the university system reflect and support the stated goals of research
and scholarship?
   This chapter will explore how the practice of Open Access publishing aligns
with the goals of improving access to knowledge, and how librarians can
support colleges and universities in implementing Open Access practices and
                     C re at i v e Common s for Li br ar ian s an d E ducator s - 93 -

How does your institution support (or not support) the open publication of
research? How do you interact with learners and faculty who are searching for
academic research? Have you ever encountered a paywall while trying to access
research articles?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
To get an overview of the topic, you should first read the Wikipedia article on
“Scholarly Communication” (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 and available at https:// This article defines schol-
arly communication as “the system through which research and other scholarly
writings are created, evaluated for quality, disseminated to the scholarly com-
munity, and preserved for future use. The system includes both formal means
of communication, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals, and informal
channels, such as electronic listservs.”
   The challenges with the existing approach to scholarly communications are
laid out in the graphic in figure 5.1. This image explains—in generalized terms—
the current process involved with developing and communicating scientific
results. In the first step of the life cycle, scientists, academics, and research

FIGURE 5.1   Current funding cycle for research articles
Figure from Creative Commons Wiki:
Author: Billymeinke | CC BY 4.0 | Cropped and desaturated from original
- 94 - CHAPTER 5

institutions seek funds to conduct a variety of research. Most often this fund-
ing comes from government sources (e.g., the National Institutes of Health in
the United States), although there are several philanthropic foundations (such
as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) that are now making major investments
in particular types of research.
   After the researchers have secured their grants, they conduct their experi-
ments and collect their data. Most of the time these researchers prepare their
results in the form of an academic article, which they then submit to a scholarly
journal for publication. The journals then arrange for some of the submitted
articles to undergo a process of peer review, in which experts within that par-
ticular topic or field will read, review, and usually provide comments on the
submitted paper.
   Some of the articles that pass the peer review stage are then offered for publi-
cation in the journal. The journal will notify the author that her paper has been
accepted, and usually require that the author transfer copyright in the article
to (or agree to an exclusive publishing contract with) the journal. By accepting
these terms, the author has granted to the journal her exclusive rights under
copyright. This means that the journal—and not the author—is now the copy-
right holder of the article, and so the journal may restrict the terms of access
and reuse provided for by the bundle of rights granted to rights holders under
the law.
   Because journals have become the de facto rights holders to the articles in
which new scientific research is published, they are also in a position to license
access to these materials to university libraries, research institutions, and the
public—typically for a significant fee. This leads to a cyclical situation in which
for-profit publishers essentially sell back access to the scientific and scholarly
record that academics originally produced through public grants.
   Even after a publishing embargo (usually a time of six months to a year,
during which the publishers retain exclusive publishing rights) expires, access
to the mostly publicly funded scientific research remains limited, with users
only permitted to read those articles if they are properly submitted to institu-
tional repositories. In the end, the public is left with restricted access to the pub-
licly funded scholarly record, and progress in the scientific enterprise doesn’t
reach its maximum potential.
   There are several critiques of the existing academic publishing system.
SPARC has a summary of their key points on its “Open Access” page (licensed
                  C re at i v e Common s for Li br ar ian s an d E ducator s - 95 -

CC BY 4.0, available at, some highlights of
which are given below:

   •   Governments provide most of the funding for research—many billions
       of dollars annually—and public institutions employ a large portion of all
   •   Researchers publish their findings without the expectation of compensa-
       tion. Unlike other authors, they hand their work over to publishers with-
       out payment, in the interest of advancing human knowledge.
   •   Through the process of peer review, researchers review each other’s
       work for free.
   •   Once published, those that contributed to the research (from taxpayers to
       the institutions that supported the research itself ) have to pay again to
       access the findings. Though research is produced as a public good, it isn’t
       available to the public who paid for it. (2007-2017 SPARC, CC BY)

   As ever-increasing journal prices outpace library budgets, academic librar-
ies are forced to make difficult decisions—often having to cancel subscriptions
or shift money away from other budget items. According to the Association
of Research Libraries (ARL), the average cost of a serial subscription for ARL
member libraries increased by 315 percent from 1986 to 2003.1 Since 2003, aver-
age journal prices have increased more slowly, but they’ve still continued to
rise about nine percent each year.

The “closed access” publishing system limits the impact of the research pro-
duced by the scientific and scholarly community and progress is thereby slowed
significantly. By contrast, Open Access literature is defined by the scholar Peter
Suber as “digital, online, free of charge, and free of most copyright and licens-
ing restrictions.”2 The graphic in figure 5.2 provides a quick overview of how an
open-access publishing system works.
   In contrast to figure 5.1, which explained the current costly and inefficient
science publishing life cycle, figure 5.2 explores an alternate path—the open
access route.
   The process begins just as it did in the explanation of the incumbent sys-
tem—with government requests for proposals (RFPs) for research. But instead
of remaining silent on how the research results will be communicated, the RFPs
- 96 - CHAPTER 5

FIGURE 5.2   Optimized funding cycle for research articles
Figure from Creative Commons Wiki:
Author: Billymeinke | CC BY 4.0 | Cropped and desaturated from original

contain policy language which requires that the published research be made
available on an open access basis.
   Next, researchers conduct their scientific experiments and prepare their
academic manuscripts. When they go to submit their articles to journals, they
must think about the Open-Access policy requirements they agreed upon when
they accepted their grant funding. This means that the researchers must retain
their copyrights—and not sign them over to for-profit publishers. Or instead,
authors must search out a “Gold” open access journal, which publishes research
under liberal open-access licenses (like CC BY) at publication. In either case,
authors retain some—or all—rights to their research articles, permitting them
to publish under open access licenses, and ensuring that they may deposit their
articles in a university or institutional repository for long-term access and
   By publishing under open access licenses like CC BY, downstream users are
granted the legal permissions to access and reuse the research. This type of

             Watch the Open Access Explained! video.
             watch?v=L5rVH1KGBCY&t=124s | CC BY 3.0
                 C re at i v e Common s for L i br ar ian s an d E ducator s - 97 -

open access system is better aligned with the original purpose of conducting
science and sharing results openly through the scholarly publishing process. In
the long run, the open access approach is more efficient, equitable, affordable,
and collaborative.

Open Access authors have the opportunity to publish in a few ways. The most
common are known as “Green” and “Gold” Open Access.
    Green OA involves making a version of the article or manuscript freely
available in a repository. This is also known as self-archiving. An example of
Green OA is a university research repository. OA repositories can be organized
by discipline (e.g., arXiv for physics) or institution (e.g., Knowledge@UChicago
for the University of Chicago).
    Gold OA involves making the final version of the manuscript freely available
immediately upon publication by the publisher, typically by publishing it in an
Open Access journal and making the article available under an open license.
Typically, Open Access journals charge an article processing charge (APC)
when an author wishes to (1) publish an article online allowing for free pub-
lic access and (2) retain the copyright to the article. APCs range from zero to
several thousand dollars per article. You can read more about APCs on Wikipe-
dia’s “Article Processing Charge” (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 and available at https:// An example of a Gold OA jour-
nal is PLOS Biology, one of several scientific journals put out by the nonprofit
publisher PLOS (Public Library of Science).
    The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ; is a site that
indexes open access journals, and HowOpenIsIt? (licensed CC BY 4.0, available
at is a handy tool for evaluating
the relative “openness” of journals from fully open-access to closed-access.
    Certain emerging models like preprints and hubs are rapidly emerging, and
they can provide a new way of considering Open Access publishing outside of
the constraints of publisher-mediated models.

Educating Authors about Their Publishing Rights
By understanding copyright and the various scholarly publishing options,
librarians can help faculty members and graduate learners navigate the system
as they publish research.
- 98 - CHAPTER 5

   Often, scholarly publishers require authors to transfer their rights to pub-
lishing companies before their research will be published in an academic jour-
nal. Academic librarians and other library departments can support faculty
and student authors by helping them understand what they give up when they
transfer their copyrights to a publisher. For example, scholarly authors who
transfer copyright could lose the ability to post their research on their own
   Several tools exist to help faculty and scholars understand their rights and
publishing options, and to help them exercise those rights. The Termination of
Transfer tool,3 co-stewarded by the Authors Alliance and Creative Commons,
gives authors who have previously entered into publishing agreements infor-
mation about whether and how they can regain the publication rights that they
previously assigned away so they can publish on new terms, including under
a CC license if they choose. The Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine4 can be
used by faculty and other authors to amend publication agreements when they
are submitting an article to a traditional publisher. The engine allows authors to
choose among different options to reserve rights for themselves and generates
an agreement that is then submitted with a traditional publication agreement to
make that legally effective. Additionally, the Authors Alliance publishes myr-
iad resources about these tools and open access, and PLOS offers resources and
articles about the benefits of open access as well.
   Academic librarians can also help scholars understand how different pub-
lishing options affect both the audience and the prestige of their work. The
“impact factor” is a primary metric of the prominence of a journal or publica-
tion, measured by the number of times the average article in a particular jour-
nal has been cited (in other sources) in one year. Because impact factors are not
necessarily a reliable metric of a journal’s importance, some publishers like
Nature Research, the publisher of the prestigious scientific journal Nature,
are reconsidering the importance of impact factors for journals. Many Open
Access scholars encourage systems like altmetrics to provide another way of
thinking about impact beyond the traditional metrics. In 2017, Science released
a study finding that on average, open access papers had a fifty percent higher
research impact than strictly “paywalled” papers.5 For more information, read
Jon Tennant’s 2016 article ( on the
academic, societal, and economic advantages of open access.
                 C re at i v e Common s for Li br ar ian s an d E ducator s - 99 -

Open Access Practices and Policies
at the University and Beyond
An open access policy is a formal policy adopted by an institution to support
researchers in making their work openly available. These policies can refer to
published peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, and peer-reviewed drafts
or pre-printed publications that are deposited in an institutional repository or
published under open-access terms in a journal. Open access policies gener-
ally define the guidelines for how researchers can disseminate their research
in order to maximize access to them. The Registry of Open Access Repository
Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP; is a regis-
try that charts the open access policies or mandates adopted by universities,
research institutions, and research funders that require or request their
researchers to provide open access to their peer-reviewed research article
output by depositing it in an institutional repository, or publish their research
under open-access terms in a journal.
   According to Peter Suber, an open access advocate, mandate is not the best
word “‘for open-access policies,’ . . . but neither is any other English word.”6
Without a mandate, institutions can consider faculty opt-in policies, whereby
libraries or copyright offices focus on shifting the default publishing practice
to open access.

Many universities have adopted open access policies that require university-
affiliated researchers to grant to their institution a non-exclusive license to
a scholarly article at the time of the creation of the work. This process heads
off problems with publishers downstream, since the university retains a legal
right to the work before copyright is transferred to a publisher. These policies
have proliferated under the assumption that universities themselves should
be able to access and preserve the research outputs of their faculty. To view
an example, review the University of California Open Access Policy at https:// You can also view many
other institutions’ open-access policies on the ROARMAP site (https://roarmap., which has collected several hundred of these policies, including
those of universities, colleges, research organizations, and other academic
   For academic librarians who are interested in developing an open access
policy for their university or institution, the Harvard Open Access Project has
- 100 - CHAPTER 5

developed a toolkit, licensed CC BY 3.0 and available at https://cyber.harvard.
edu/hoap/Good_practices_for_university_open-access_policies. Open Access pol-
icies usually originate from an institution’s Office of Scholarly Communica-
tions, but librarians in a variety of roles (outreach, reference, etc.) can also help
craft these policies.

In addition to encouraging the development of open access policies at the uni-
versity level, public policies can ensure that publicly funded research be made
available under Open Access terms. This typically is accomplished through the
inclusion of sharing requirements that are tied to receiving government or
philanthropic grant funds. When funding cycles for research include deposit
or open license requirements for publications, the resulting increased access
and opportunities for reuse extend the value of that research funding. As
an example, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy
requires that “all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for
them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic ver-
sion of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication,
to be made publicly available no later than twelve months after the official date
of publication.”7
    The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR) was intro-
duced repeatedly in both houses of Congress in the period from 2012 to 2017, but
it has yet to be approved. Should U.S. Congress approve FASTR, the bill would
require federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 mil-
lion or more to provide the public with online access to the research articles
stemming from that funded research within six to twelve months after publica-
tion in a peer-reviewed journal. The passage of FASTR would ensure that arti-
cles based on publicly funded research are made freely available for all poten-
tial users to read, and it would ensure that those articles can be fully used in the
digital environment, enabling the use of new computational analysis tools that
promise to revolutionize the research process.

Open Access Myths Debunked
For faculty and learners alike, open access can seem like a scary new world, par-
ticularly since the pressure to publish has increased. There are many guides to
debunking the myths of open access publishing, and reading these carefully to
dispel any fear or misunderstanding is crucial in the current academic landscape.
                 Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 101 -

   •   “Field Guide to Misunderstandings about Open Access,” by Peter Suber,
   •   University of Minnesota, “Myths about Open Access Publishing,” https://
   •   “Persistent Myths about Open Access Scientific Publishing,” by Mike Taylor,

Final Remarks
Universities play a major role in advancing scientific research, and academic
publishing is a key mechanism for faculty to communicate their findings to col-
leagues and the public. As organizers of knowledge within institutions, librar-
ians can work together with university researchers to promote access to infor-
mation. They can do this by educating on the “how” and “why” of open access,
answering questions about copyright, and providing guidance and recommen-
dations to maximize the reach and impact of scholarly publishing in particular

Openness in education brings the potential for co-creation and learning through
active participation in how knowledge is produced.

   •   Explain how copyright restricts pedagogy
   •   Define open pedagogy, open educational practices, and OER-enabled
       pedagogy, and describe how open licensing enables each of these
   •   List examples of open pedagogy in practice

Do you remember when smartphones were first released? They were full of
infinite possibilities compared to earlier phones. Before smartphones, we could
only call and text. But with smartphones, we can now take videos and pictures,
play movies and music, surf the web and read e-mail, and call and text. It was
difficult for long-time users of older phones to take advantage of all the capabil-
ities offered by the new phones. They were too accustomed to the limitations of
older phones. For months—and sometimes years—they used their smartphones
only to call and text. (Maybe you know someone like this?)
- 102 - CHAPTER 5

   Many educators have the same problem with open educational resources.
They have spent so much time using education materials published under
restrictive licenses that they struggle to take advantage of the new pedagogi-
cal capabilities offered by OER. These pedagogical capabilities are all about the
teaching and learning practices and tools that empower learners and teachers
to create and share knowledge openly and learn deeply.

Three Definitions
The Open Education movement is still discussing and debating what it means
to think about teaching and learning practices in a more inclusive, diverse, and
open manner. You can read a few examples of how various educators approach
this topic on the Year of Open (licensed CC BY 4.0, available at https://www.year At least three
fun­damental terms have emerged from this discussion:

   •   Open Educational Practices (from Cronin’s 2018 Open Edu Global presen-
       tation): the use, reuse, or creation of OER and collaborative, pedagogical
       practices employing social and participatory technologies for interac-
       tion, peer-learning, knowledge creation and sharing, and the empower-
       ment of learners.
   •   Open Pedagogy (from DeRosa and Jhangiani’s chapter in the 2017 book, A
       Guide to Making Open Textbooks with Students): an access-oriented com-
       mitment to learner-driven education and a process of designing archi-
       tectures and using tools for learning that enable learners to shape the
       public knowledge commons of which they are a part. (There is more on
       this at Open Pedagogy Notebook, licensed CC BY 4.0 and available at http://
   •   OER-Enabled Pedagogy (from Wiley and Hilton’s 2018 journal article
       “Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy”): a set of teaching and learning prac-
       tices that are only possible or practical when you have permission to en-
       gage in the 5R activities [i.e., retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute].

Personal Reflection: Why It Matters to You
When you’ve used open educational resources in the past, have you taken
advantage of the permissions offered by their open licenses, or did you use OER
just like you used your previous, traditionally copyrighted materials? In other
words, did you do anything with the OER that was impossible to do with tradi-
tionally copyrighted materials? Why or why not?
                Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 103 -

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
It’s well-established that people learn through activities. And it’s equally
well-established that copyright restricts people from engaging in a range of
activities. When juxtaposed like this, it becomes clear that copyright restricts
pedagogy by contracting the universe of things that learners and teachers can
do with education materials. If there are things that learners are not allowed to
do, this means there are ways that learners are not allowed to learn. If there are
things that teachers aren’t allowed to do, this means there are ways that teach-
ers aren’t allowed to teach.
    You can learn about how these restrictions on what teachers and learners
can do impacts teaching and learning by reading the metaphor/blog post about
driving airplanes on roads at

Examples of Open Educational Practices,
Open Pedagogy, and OER-Enabled Pedagogy
One of the foundational ideas of open teaching and learning practices is the dis-
tinction between disposable and renewable assignments.
   Do you remember doing homework for school that felt utterly pointless? A
“disposable assignment” is an assignment that supports an individual student’s
learning but adds no other value to the world—the student spends hours work-
ing on it, the teacher spends time grading it, and the student gets it back and
then throws it away. While disposable assignments may promote learning by
an individual student, these assignments can be demoralizing for people who
want to feel like their work matters beyond the immediate moment.
   In contrast, “renewable assignments” are assignments that both support
individual student learning and add value to the broader world. With renew-
able assignments, learners are asked to create and openly license valuable arti-
facts that, in addition to supporting their own learning, will be useful to other
learners both inside and outside the classroom. Classic renewable assignments
include, for example, collaborating with learners to write new case studies for
textbooks, creating “explainer” videos, and modifying learning materials that
will speak more directly to learners’ local cultures and needs.
   To explore additional examples of this pedagogical approach in action, check
out the examples given by David Wiley in Project Management for Instruc-
tional Designers (licensed CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, available at and
Robin DeRosa’s Actualham website (
my-open-textbook-pedagogy-and-practice/) of learners adapting existing mate-
- 104 - CHAPTER 5

rials to create new textbooks. In both of these cases, teachers had learners cre-
ate their own textbooks, which then had Creative Commons licenses applied
to them. Other examples of OER-enabled pedagogy in action include assign-
ments by JB Murray (licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 on
Wikipedia:WikiProject_Murder_Madness_and_Mayhem) and Amin Azzam
(licensed CC BY-SA 3.0 on
_Medicine/UCSF_Elective_2013) that had learners significantly improve articles
that were in Wikipedia. When they completed these assignments, the learners
had created open artifacts that were useful in both supporting their own learn-
ing and the learning of other learners and educators. In these examples, learn-
ers created assignments that allowed them to interact with the greater commu-
nity and ensured that the assignments are renewable, not disposable, artifacts.
    A couple of other interesting examples of renewable assignments are a
remixed explainer video that a student made, entitled Blogs and Wikis: a ficti-
tious debate ( and the DS106
assignment bank ( which is a hub for student-
created, CC-licensed content. Additional examples are available on the Open
Pedagogy Notebook website (licensed CC BY 4.0 and available at http://open

Final Remarks
If you’re just going to use your new smartphone the same way you used your
old flip phone, there wasn’t much point in getting a new phone. Likewise, when
we use OER to support learning in exactly the same ways that we used the old
“all rights reserved” materials, we may save learners money, but we miss out on
the transformative power of open pedagogy. As you prepare to use OER in your
teaching, think about the new things that are possible in the context of permis-
sion to engage in the 5R activities.

Open Education is an idea, as well as a set of content, practices, policies, and
communities which, when properly leveraged, can help everyone in the world
access free, effective, open learning materials at either zero or marginal cost.
We live in an age of information abundance where everyone, for the first time
in human history, can potentially attain all the education they desire. The key
to this transformational shift in learning is Open Educational Resources (OER).
                 Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 105 -

OER are educational materials that are shared at no cost, with legal permissions
for the public to freely use, share, and build upon their content.
   OER are possible because:

   •   they are (mostly) born digital,8 and digital resources can be stored,
       copied, and distributed for near zero cost;
   •   the Internet makes it simple for the public to share digital content; and
   •   Creative Commons licenses make it simple and legal to retain copyright
       and legally share educational resources with the world.

   Because we can share effective education materials with the world for near
zero cost,9 many people argue that educators and governments which support
public education have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. After all, educa-
tion is fundamentally about sharing knowledge and ideas. Creative Commons
believes that OER will replace much of the expensive, proprietary content that
is currently used in academic courses. Shifting to this open model will gener-
ate more equitable economic opportunities and social benefits globally without
sacrificing the quality of educational content.

Does it seem reasonable that education in the age of the Internet should be more
expensive and less flexible than it was in previous generations? Education is
more important than ever before; nothing else can do as much to promote the
happiness, prosperity, and security of individuals, families, and societies.
While many interesting and useful experiments are occurring outside formal
education, the degrees, certificates, and other credentials awarded by formal
institutions are still critically important to the quality of life of many people
around the world.
   Formal education, even in the age of the Internet, can be more expensive and
less flexible than ever. In many countries, the publishers of educational mate-
rials overcharge for textbooks and other resources. As part of their transition
from print to digital, these same companies have largely moved away from a
model where learners purchase and own books to a “streaming” model where
they have access to those resources for only a limited time. Furthermore, pub-
lishers are constantly developing new restrictive technologies that limit what
learners and faculty can do with the resources they have temporary access to,
including novel ways to prohibit printing, prevent cutting and pasting, and
restrict the sharing of materials between friends.
- 106 - CHAPTER 5

    •   Define the word open in the context of open educational resources
    •   Differentiate between OER, open textbooks, open courses, and MOOCs
        (massive open online courses)

What impacts have the rising costs and decreased flexibility of educational
materials had on you and those you know? What role do you think that “all
rights reserved” copyrights and related laws have played in driving up costs
and driving down flexibility for learners and teachers?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Open Educational Resources are teaching, learning, and research materials in
any medium that reside in the public domain or have been released under an
open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation, and redistribution by
others.10 Or we could use this less technical definition to describe OER: OER are
educational materials that can be freely downloaded, edited, and shared to bet-
ter serve all students.11

           OER and Open Textbooks
           To begin, you should watch the video Why OER?
  | CC BY 3.0

   In contrast to traditional educational materials, which are constantly becom-
ing more expensive and less flexible, OER give everyone, everywhere, free per-
mission to download, edit, and share them with others. David Wiley provides
another popular definition, stating that only educational materials licensed in
a manner that provides the public with permission to engage in the 5R activities
can be considered OER.
   The 5R permissions are:

    1. Retain—permission to make, own, and control copies of the content (e.g.,
       download, duplicate, store, and manage it)
    2. Reuse—permission to use the content in a wide range of ways (e.g., in a
       class, in a study group, on a website, in a video)
    3. Revise—permission to adapt, adjust, modify, or alter the content itself
       (e.g., translate the content into another language)
                Cre at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 107 -

    4. Remix—permission to combine the original or revised content with
       other material to create something new (e.g., incorporate the content
       into a mashup)
    5. Redistribute—permission to share copies of the original content, your
       revisions, or your remixes with others (e.g., give a copy to a friend)

    The easiest way to confirm that an educational resource is an “open” one that
provides you with the 5R permissions is to determine that the resource is either
in the public domain or has been licensed under a Creative Commons license
which permits the creation of derivative works; these licenses are CC BY, CC
    Open educational resources come in all shapes and sizes. An OER can be
as small as a single article, academic paper, video, or simulation, or it can be
as large as an entire degree program. However, it can be difficult, or at least
time-consuming for teachers to assemble OER into a collection that is compre-
hensive enough to replace an “all rights reserved” copyrighted textbook. When
OER are collected and presented in ways that resemble a traditional textbook,
it often makes it easier for teachers to use the resources. The term open text-
book simply means a collection of OER that has been organized to look like a
traditional textbook in order to ease the adoption process. To see examples of
open textbooks in a number of disciplines, visit OpenStax (licensed CC BY 4.0,
available at, the Open Textbook Library (licensed
CC BY 4.0, available at, or the BC Open
Textbook Project (licensed CC BY 4.0, available at
Other times, OER are aggregated and presented as digital courseware. To see
examples of open courseware, visit the Open Education Consortium (licensed
CC BY 4.0, available at and MIT Open-
CourseWare (licensed CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, available at
    In addition to demonstrating that learners save money when their teachers
adopt OER, research shows that learners can have better outcomes when their
teachers choose OER instead of educational materials that are available under
“all rights reserved” copyright.
    The use of OER is strongly advocated by a broad range of individuals, organi-
zations, and governments, as evidenced by documents like the Cape Town Open
Education Declaration (2007), the UNESCO Paris OER Declaration (2012), and
the recently adopted UNESCO Ljubljana OER Action Plan (2017).
- 108 - CHAPTER 5

                                                    FIGURE 5.3
                                                    OER-Enabled Pedagogy,
                                                    slide 16
                                                    Figure available at https://
                                                    Author: David Wiley
                                                    CC BY 4.0
                                                    Desaturated from original

OER vs. Free Library Resources
Teachers and professors typically use a mix of “all rights reserved” commer-
cial content, free library resources, and OER in their courses. While the library
resources are “free” to the learners and faculty at that institution, they are (1)
not really “free” because the institution’s library had to pay to purchase or sub-
scribe to them, and (2) they are not available to the general public. The chart in
figure 5.3 describes the cost to learners and the legal permissions available to
teachers and learners for each of these types of educational resources.

OER in Primary and Secondary (K−12) Education vs. Tertiary
(Higher) Education
Open educational resources are used in all sectors of education. How OER are
produced and adopted, however, often differs depending on the level of educa-
tion in which they are used.
   In general, tertiary (higher education) faculty members are more likely to:

   •   have the time, resources, and support to produce and revise educational
   •   own the copyright to the content they create (though this depends on
       their contract with the college or university); and
   •   make unilateral decisions regarding what content is used in their

  As such, higher education faculty are often OER producers and can decide
whether or not to adopt these OER in their courses. OER adoption in higher
education tends to occur one faculty member at a time. Given this opportunity,
                 Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 109 -

it is critical that faculty members be given the time, resources, and support
they need in order to create and adopt open education content and undertake
a shift to open education practices and pedagogy. For an example of this sort
of endeavor, see the open textbook Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care
that was written by faculty from British Columbia (licensed CC BY 4.0 at https://
    In general, primary and secondary (K−12) teachers are less likely to:

   •   have the time, resources, and support to produce and revise educational
   •   own the copyright to the content they create (though this depends on
       their contract with the school or district); and
   •   make unilateral decisions regarding what content is used in their

   As such, OER adoption in primary and secondary schools tends to occur at
the district or school level, rather than at the level of individual teachers. For
an example of this, see the blog post Creative Commons policies grow in New
Zealand schools (

Open Educational Resources (a very brief timeline)
While there isn’t enough space in this section to give a comprehensive over-
view of the “History of Open Education,” here are several of the pivotal events
that contributed to the growth of the Open Education movement.

   •   1969: UK Open University opens
   •   1983: Free software movement founded with launch of GNU
   •   1991: World Wide Web becomes publicly available
   •   1997: MERLOT project begins
   •   1998: U.S. Copyright Term Extension Act
   •   1998: The term open content is coined, and the Open Content License is
   •   1999: Open Publication License is released
   •   1999: Connexions launches (renamed OpenStax in 2012)
   •   2001: Wikipedia is founded
   •   2001: Creative Commons is founded
   •   2001: MIT Open CourseWare is established
- 110 - CHAPTER 5

   •   2002: Budapest Open Access Initiative
   •   2002: Creative Commons licenses launched
   •   2002: UNESCO coins the term Open Educational Resources
   •   2004: First annual Open Education Conference
   •   2005: OpenCourseWare Consortium is formed (renamed the Open
       Education Consortium in 2014)
   •   2006: WikiEducator is launched
   •   2007: Cape Town OER Declaration
   •   2007: OER Commons is established
   •   2007: Wiley and Couros experiment with “open courses”
   •   2008: The book Opening Up Education is published
   •   2008: The online course “Connectivism and Connective Knowledge”
       is established; 2,000 learners participate, leading to the term massive
       open online course, or MOOC
   •   2012: OpenStax releases the first open textbook
   •   2012: UNESCO OER Paris Declaration
   •   2013: OERu (Open Educational Resources university) is launched
   •   2017: UNESCO 2nd World OER Congress
   •   2018: UNESCO drafts an OER Recommendation
   •   2019: UNESCO approves bringing 2019 UNESCO OER Recommendation
       to the next General Conference.

Final Remarks
OER, whether organized as open textbooks or open courseware, provide teach-
ers, learners, and others with a broad range of permissions that make education
more affordable and more flexible. These permissions also enable rapid, low-
cost experimentation and innovation, as educators seek to maximize access to
effective educational resources for all.

We live in a rich multimedia culture that requires educators to provide rele-
vant learning resources in the classroom, although finding and reusing others’
great works is not always simple. This section will teach you how to find others’
OER and adapt them for use in your own classroom.
                 Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 111 -

                                                          FIGURE 5.4   Cell phone
                                                          Photo from Unsplash:
                                                          Author: Tiago Aguiar
                                                          Public domain: CC0
                                                          Destaurated from original

   Librarians play an important role in the discovery, development, descrip-
tion, licensing, curation, and sharing of Open Educational Resources. They also
have an opportunity to advocate for and support the use of these resources.
This section will also guide you through a practical approach to supporting the
adoption of OER.

What skills and knowledge are needed to find just the right OER that you and
your learners need? If you are going to join the global Open Education commu-
nity, find the best open resources for your course, and share your good work as
an OER, you need to know—and know how to teach others—how to find, evalu-
ate, and adapt openly licensed resources. And what if we want to think bigger . . .
what effect might Open Education have globally?
   Why is the openness of content—the ability to revise, remix, and share it—so
important? If the public had access to and could creatively remix the world’s
knowledge, what new opportunities might we find to address global challenges
(e.g., the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals)?

   •   Find OER in open repositories, or by using Google, CC Search, or other
   •   Evaluate how to reuse, revise, and remix the OER you find
   •   Demonstrate how different OER can be used together, while paying
       attention to license compatibility
- 112 - CHAPTER 5

Where do you currently find your learning resources? Do you seek open alter-
natives for the materials you currently use? How do you evaluate your existing
learning resources, and how can you apply those measures to openly licensed
   Once you identify the learning resources you currently use, ask yourself the
following questions:

   •   Is this resource freely available to all of my learners?
   •   Can my learners and I keep a copy of this resource forever?
   •   Does my class have the legal rights to fix errors, update old or inaccurate
       content, improve the work, and share it with other educators around the
   •   Can my learners contribute to and improve our learning resources as
       part of their course work?

   If the answer to these questions is “No,” then you’re probably using learning
resources that don’t provide the legal permissions you and your learners need
to do what you want to do. Conversely, if you answered “Yes” to all of the ques-
tions, then you’re probably using OER.

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Not everything on the Internet is an open educational resource, and some
works labeled as “open” may not have the legal permissions to exercise the 5Rs.
So how do you recognize OER, and how do you choose which OER will work best
in your class?

            First, for a short introduction on how to find OER, watch the
            video How Can I Find OER?
            ?v=NJRIaQkiWKw | CC BY NC 4.0

   Finding the resources you want to use is the first step to bringing OER into
your classroom. Discovery is one of the primary barriers for educators who
want to use OER. Fortunately, there are many established ways to search for
these resources.
                 Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 113 -

    You can do a quick review of OER projects and people on the OER World Map
(licensed CC BY 4.0 at to get a sense of global OER
    There are many websites that host large collections of OER (e.g., Wikimedia
Commons), but some universities also host their own OER repositories and ser-
vices. A good first step is to do a general OER search using Google Advanced
Search and filter your results by “Usage Rights” (on the pull-down menu at the
bottom of the screen). See Google’s post on how to use the tool effectively at
    In addition to sharing your OER on your website or blog, there are hundreds
of online platforms on which you can share your openly licensed content.
Creative Commons maintains a directory of some of the most popular platforms
used by educators, organized by content type (photos, video, audio, textbooks,
courses, etc.) at
-oer/education-oer-resources/. You can also find OER on these platforms.
    When looking for OER, open educators often ask each other for help on Open
Education discussion lists. Here is a non-exhaustive tally of discussion lists you
might be interested in joining:

   •   CC Open Education Platform (invitation)
   •   OER Forum
   •   International OER Advocacy
   •   OER Discuss
   •   Open Knowledge Open Edu
   •   Open Edu SIG
   •   Wikimedia Education
   •   US OER Advocacy
   •   SPARC: Library OER
   •   Educause Openness

   If you want to know more about the most popular general options for search-
ing for OER, read the Open Washington course Module 6: Finding OER (licensed
CC BY 4.0 at
   Creative Commons redesigned its CC Search (figure 5.5).12 You can explore
the initial version of the new search engine (images only) at https://ccsearch Soon, CC Search will be able to search the entire Com-
mons—all of the public domain and CC-licensed works on the Internet . . .
including OER.
- 114 - CHAPTER 5

FIGURE 5.5   CC Search

As with all education resources, OER need to be evaluated before use. Educa-
tors who are new to OER may have concerns about their quality because these
resources are available for free and may have been remixed by other educators.
But the process of using and evaluating OER is not that different from evaluating
traditional “all rights reserved” copyright resources. Whether education mate-
rials are openly licensed or closed, you are the best judge of quality because you
know what your learners need and what your curriculum demands.
   Subject specialists (educators and librarians) assess the quality and suitabil-
ity of learning resources. The membership organization JISC provides a list of
criteria for the assessment of the quality of these resources.

    •   Accuracy
    •   Reputation of author/institution
    •   Standard of technical production
    •   Accessibility
    •   Fitness for purpose13

  You should be careful not to let anyone tell you that OER are “low quality”
because they are free. As the SPARC OER Mythbusting Guide points out:

    •   In this increasingly digital and Internet-connected world, the old adage
        that “you get what you pay for” is growing outdated. New models are
        developing across all aspects of society that dramatically reduce or elimi-
        nate costs to users, and this kind of innovation has spread to educational
                 Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 115 -

   •   OER publishers have worked to ensure the quality of their resources.
       Many open textbooks are created within rigorous editorial and peer-
       review guidelines, and many OER repositories allow faculty to review
       (and see others’ reviews of ) the material. There is also a growing body of
       evidence which demonstrates that OER can be both free of cost and high
       quality—and more importantly, they can support positive student learn-
       ing outcomes.14

    Also, be careful not to get pulled into a debate about high- or low-quality
educational resources when what educators should really be concerned about
is those resources’ effectiveness. Read these two posts from David Wiley: “Stop
Say­ing ‘High Quality’” ( and “No,
Really—Stop Saying ‘High Quality’” (

Remixing and Adapting Resources
Being open enables educators to use the resource more effectively, which can
lead to better learning and student outcomes. OER can be remixed, adapted,
updated, or tailored and improved locally to fit the needs of learners—for exam-
ple, by translating the OER into a local language, adapting a biology open text-
book to align it with local science standards, or modifying an OER simulation to
make it accessible for a student who cannot hear.
   The ideas of remixing and adaptation are fundamental to education. The cre-
ative reuse of materials created by other educators and authors is about more
than just seeking inspiration; we copy, adapt, and combine different materials
in order to craft appropriate and effective education resources for our learners.
   Incorporating materials created by others and combining materials from
different sources can be tricky, not only from a pedagogical perspective, but
also from a copyright perspective.
   Online digital education resources have different legal permissions that
empower (or not) the public to use, remix, and share those resources. Here are a
few of those legal categories:

   •   Public domain works (which are not restricted by any copyright) can be
       remixed with any other work.
           »» Example: Anyone can remix The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by

              Mark Twain with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
   •   Some “all rights reserved” copyrighted works are available for free
       online, but you can only use them under the project terms of service,
- 116 - CHAPTER 5

       or by using an exception or limitation to copyright, such as fair use or
       fair dealing.
            »» Example: Many MOOCs allow free reuse of their content, but do not

               allow copying, revise, remix, or redistribution.

   •   “All rights reserved” copyrighted works in closed formats do not allow
       the public to remix or adapt the work.
            »» Example: A blockbuster movie is usually available only on a

               streaming service that you cannot use or even link to.

   •   Creative Commons-licensed works (and other free licenses) are open, but
       they may have various permissions and restrictions.
           »» Example: The online encyclopedia Wikipedia (BY-SA) allows you

              to reuse its content for commercial purposes, while WikiHow
              (BY-NC-SA) does not. A Wikipedia article cannot be remixed with a
              WikiHow article.

   If you want to know which CC-licensed works can be remixed with other
CC-licensed works, see figure 5.6, which repeats the CC remix chart (figure 4.12)
that we studied in chapter 4. In this chart, where there is a check mark at the
intersection of two CC-licensed works, you can remix those two works. Where
there is a black X, you cannot remix those two CC-licensed works.

MARC Records and Metadata
There are metadata standards for OER that allow searchability, organization,
and integration into current content systems at your institution. Metadata can
include information such as author, title, subject area, grade level, keywords,
and other categorical information.
   There are many sources whereby you can easily include open textbooks in
your library collection. has a comprehensive database of Creative
Commons ebooks. In 2014 they added 1,897 free ebooks, and of these, 1,076 of
them have Creative Commons licenses. has also added librarian tools
( to allow users to download and
upload customizable MARC (machine-readable cataloging) records. As free,
openly licensed resources, OER often live outside of the catalog, and catalog-
ing standards can differ between repositories. You can check out the WorldCat
catalog record for OpenStax to see what an OER might look like in the catalog
                   Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 117 -

FIGURE 5.6   CC License Compatibility Chart
Figure from Creative Commons:
CC BY 4.0 | Desaturated from original

( How do you cata-
log OER? If you’re participating in the CC Certificate course, use the class chat
to discuss this question.
   The Open Textbook Library and BC Campus also provide MARC biblio-
graphic records for OER. The Open Textbook Library also uses CC0 for all of its
MARC records. You can read more about how to use CC for MARC records at

Final Remarks
We live in an amazing world of information abundance, and an increasing per-
centage of our digital knowledge is openly licensed. But finding the right open
resources that fit the needs of your learning spaces and your learners can be a
challenge. One of the major motivations for using OER is the ability to revise,
remix, and share these works in ways that will best suit the needs of your learn-
ers. Search engines, OER repositories, and platform services with built-in tools
for using Creative Commons licenses help, but finding the right OER can still
take time for your faculty and library patrons to accomplish.
- 118 - CHAPTER 5

Large parts of this book are about creation, both how it works from a legal per-
spective and, more practically, how we learn by making and creating something.
In this section we will explore and practice how to create and share OER so they
can have the biggest impact and be used without any legal or technical barriers.

A big part of any educator’s work is preparing, updating, and combining learn-
ing materials. Making those materials open requires just a few additional steps,
and it’s easier than you think. What are those steps? What should you consider
and expect when you want to create and publish your resources in the open?
   When we share our education resources as OER, we share our best practices,
our expertise, our challenges and solutions. Education is about sharing. And
when we share our work with more people, we become better educators.

   •   Imagine how your OER will work in practice
   •   Understand how to select CC licenses for your resources
   •   Examine your open license decision for compatibility (i.e., can it
       be remixed) with other OER
   •   Identify the needs and challenges to improving OER accessibility
       for everyone

Personal Reflection: Why It Matters To You
What kind of learning resources do you create now? Do you publish or share
these resources with other people for feedback? Which of your resources do
you think could benefit fellow educators, learners, researchers, and libraries?
If you choose to share, how much freedom do you want to give to others; in other
words, what permissions will you allow for others to reuse your work?

            For an introduction on why it is important to share your work
            as an OER, watch the video Open Education Matters: Why
            Is It Important to Share Content?
            watch?v=dTNnxPcY49Q | CC BY 3.0
                   Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 119 -

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Because educators and librarians can share OER with everyone for near zero
cost,15 we should do this. After all, education is fundamentally about sharing
knowledge and ideas. Libraries are about archiving, sharing, and helping learn-
ers to find the knowledge they seek. When we CC-license our work, we are shar-
ing that work with the public under simple, legal permissions. Sharing your
work is a gift to the world.

As you may remember, not all educational materials that are available under a
CC license are OER. Review the chart in figure 5.7 that details which CC licenses
work well for education resources and which do not.
   The two CC NoDerivatives (ND) licenses are not OER-compatible licenses
because they don’t allow the public to revise or remix the educational resource.
Because the ND licenses do not meet the 5Rs or any of the major OER defini-
tions, the Open Education movement does not consider ND-licensed educa-
tional resources to be “OER.”

FIGURE 5.7   Which CC licenses work well for education resources and which do not
- 120 - CHAPTER 5

   Choosing the right license for your OER requires you to think about which
permissions you want to give to other users—and which permissions you want
to retain for yourself. Read the statement “Open Textbook Community Advo-
cates CC BY License for Open Textbooks” (licensed CC BY 4.0 at https://open
-for-open-textbooks/) and think about why they recommend the Creative Com-
mons Attribution license (CC BY) for education. You can find more arguments
made about the utility of this same license for publishing scientific research in
the article “Why CC BY?” from the Open Access Scholarly Publishers Associa-
tion (licensed CC BY 4.0 at
   For basic information about the licenses, and how to choose and apply one to
your work or to combined works from other people and sources, revisit section
4.1 “Choosing and Applying a CC License.”

For a detailed analysis of Creative Commons case law, see section 3.4 “License
Enforceability.” Creative Commons maintains a listing of court decisions and
case law from jurisdictions around the world on its wiki, licensed CC BY 4.0 at
   In 2017−18 there were two legal cases concerning Open Education: Great
Minds vs. FedEx Office and Great Minds vs. Office Depot, as referenced in chapter
4. As a reminder, both cases involved OER used by schools for non-commercial
purposes. In both cases, the district courts found that a commercial copy shop
may reproduce educational materials at the request of a school district that is
using them under a CC BY-NC-SA license; thus, no license copyright infringe-
ment or violation of the CC license had occurred.

Other than choosing the right CC license, what other aspects of openness
and pedagogy are worth considering? You can read a list of best practices to
include in your work when building OER at

           Watch the video Simply Said: Understanding Accessibility in Digi­tal
           Learning Materials by the National Center on Accessible Educa-
           tional Materials.
                   Cre at i v e Common s for L i brar ian s an d E ducator s - 121 -

FIGURE 5.8   Print encyclopedia and e-book reader on green grass
Photo from Pixabay:
Author: papirontul | Public Domain: CC0 | Cropped and desaturated from original

  The Open Washington network’s Module 8 on “Sharing OER” (licensed CC
BY 4.0, available at will give you practical
advice on how to share OER online and prepare them to be used offline as well.

At its core, OER are about making sure that everyone has access to learning and
research materials. Not just rich people, not just people who can see or hear, not
just people who can read English—everyone.
   As authors and institutions build and share OER, best practices in accessi-
bility need to be part of their instructional and technical design from the start.
Educators have legal and ethical responsibilities to ensure that our learning
resources are fully accessible to all learners, including those with disabilities.
   The best practices to ensure that your OER are accessible to all include:

    •   putting your work into the public domain (CC0) or adding a non-ND CC
        license to your work;
    •   making it simple to download your work in editable file formats, so others
        can modify or translate it to meet local needs and make it accessible; and
    •   most importantly, designing your work to be accessible from the start.
- 122 - CHAPTER 5

Librarians who find themselves in the role of content creators may wonder
how to license their work. Over 5,000 institutions in the United States use
LibGuides as their preferred subject guide content management system, with
over 120,000 license holders around the world. Licensing your resources under
Creative Commons can be as simple as using the license chooser to create a
machine-readable icon for your site or LibGuide.
    There are hundreds of LibGuides on library websites about Creative Com-
mons alone. Use Google to search for LibGuides about Creative Commons and
flip through the resources found by subject librarians on the issues of Creative
Commons and copyright.

Final Remarks
Openness in education means more than just access or legal certainty over
what you are able to use, modify, and share with your learners. Open Educa-
tion means designing content and practices which will ensure that everyone
can actively participate and contribute to the sum of all human knowledge. As
educators and learners revise others’ OER and create and share new OER, acces-
sibility should always be on your design checklist.

This section discusses how educational institutions can support open educa-
tion content, practices, and community with policy.

Educational institutions around the world are trying to figure out how to sup-
port their educators, staff, and learners in using, revising, and sharing OER in
the context of new Open Education practices. How can educational leaders use
various policy tools to support and promote Open Education?

   •   Consider if and why you need a policy to accomplish your Open
       Education goals
   •   Understand the menu of Open Education policy options
   •   Assess your existing institutional policies
   •   Understand how to develop an institutional open policy
                 Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 123 -

What if there were institutional policies that supported your Open Education
and open access efforts? What effect might pro-Open Access and pro-Open
Education policies have on you and your learners?

Acquiring Essential Knowledge
Educational institutions have a broad menu of Open Education policy options
from which to choose. Your institution can:

   •   Raise awareness of the existence of OER and their benefits for your learn-
       ers and faculty.
            »» Action: Host an annual “Open Education” day at your school or uni-


   •   Empower stakeholders to drive your institution’s Open Education strategy.
          »» Action: Create an Open Education Task Force comprised of learners,

             faculty, accessibility experts, deans, bookstore, financial aid, and
             library staff, instructional designers, eLearning, and so on.

   •   Ensure that all of the content you fund is OER.
          »» Action: Draft, adopt, and implement an open licensing policy

             requiring university or school-funded resources to be openly
             licensed (preferably CC BY 4.0). Use the OER Policy Development
             Tool (licensed CC BY 4.0, available at http://policy.lumenlearning
             .com/) to build an open policy for your institution. You can find
             examples of open policies that others have created at the OER
             Policy Registry (global; licensed CC BY 4.0, available at https://
    and SPARC’s
             “List of North American OER Policies and Projects” (licensed CC
             BY 4.0, available at

   •   Issue a call-to-action to solve an educational challenge.
           »» Action: Create an OER grant program. You could appropriate funds

              for supporting faculty and staff to shift your fifty highest-enrolled
              courses from closed content to OER.
                  Example: The Maricopa County Community College started an
                  open textbook initiative to lower the costs of teaching materials.
                  They provided grants to create open courses and train faculty
                  on OER. You can learn more about their process at https://
- 124 - CHAPTER 5

   •   Leverage existing strategic documents to support Open Education.
           »» Action: Add Open Education goals to your institution’s key strategy

           »» Action: Identify and track key performance indicators that improve

              when courses and/or degrees adopt OER.
                  Example: Increasing student outcomes, increasing the per-
                  centage of learners who can access 100 percent of the learning
                  resources on day 1, reducing dropouts during add/drop periods,
                  increasing credits taken per semester, decreasing student debt,
                  decreasing time to degree.

   •   Make it easy to share OER.
          »» Action: Join a global OER repository and make it simple for your

             educators and learners to find others’ OER and share their own OER.
             Provide professional development.

   •   Ensure that educators have the legal rights to share.
          »» Action: Change the contract between the institution and the fac-

             ulty or teachers so that these educators have the legal rights to CC-
             license their work.
                 Example: A Creative Commons policy in New Zealand gives
                 teachers advance permission to disseminate their resources
                 online for sharing and reuse. The policy also ensures that both
                 the school and the teacher—as well as teachers from around the
                 country and around the world—can continue to use and adapt
                 resources produced by New Zealand teachers in the course of
                 their employment. Creative Commons NZ has developed an
                 annotated policy template for schools to adapt (http://resources

   •   Provide OER information to learners.
           »» Action: Require OER Course designations in course catalogs so

              learners can see whether (or not) a course uses an OER or an open
                  Example: The City University of New York labels OER in its cata-­
                  log; see the video.
                 Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 125 -

   •   Reward sharing.
          »» Action: Adjust promotion and tenure policies to reward the creation,

             adoption, and maintenance of OER and publishing in Open Access
             journals. The creation and adaptation of OER should be appropri-
             ately recognized as curricular innovation and service to the aca-
             demic profession during promotion and tenure review.

The point of most Open Education and Open Access policies is to ensure that
publicly (or foundation) funded education and research resources (1) can be
read by everyone, (2) are openly licensed, and (3) are shared in editable file for-
mats in public repositories, with a zero embargo period, which provides imme-
diate public access upon publication. Creative Commons often uses the catch-
phrase “publicly funded resources should be openly licensed resources—the
public should have access to what it funds.” When it comes to enforcing Open
Education and Open Access policies, multiple people and institutions play
important roles.
   Government, foundation, and institutional funders and program officers
responsible for managing grants and contracts need to (1) understand their
Open Education/Access policies, (2) communicate the importance of these poli-
cies to grantees verbally and in writing, and (3) check to ensure that the public
has full access to the openly licensed resources, research, and data under the
terms of the Open Education and Open Access policy.
   University or college administration should provide support (e.g., by hiring
a full-time OA or OER librarian) to faculty who are publishing in Open Access
journals or otherwise sharing their research openly and to faculty who are
creating, remixing, sharing, and adopting OER. Institutions should also review
and modify (as needed) promotion and tenure policies to ensure that faculty
who are engaged in Open Education and Open Access publishing are rewarded
during promotion and tenure review.16

Final Remarks
When educational institutions support their educators, staff, and learners in
moving from closed to open content and practices, Open Education thrives.
Educators want to design the best courses, adjust their practices and pedagogy
to empower learners to co-create knowledge, and push the limits of knowledge
- 126 - CHAPTER 5

by openly sharing their ideas and resources with a global audience. But educa-
tors can’t do it alone. They need political, financial, time, staff, and policy sup-
port to shift to, and fully realize, the benefits of Open Education.

More Background on Open Access
   •   “A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access,” by Peter Suber.
          This is a short description defining Open Access, research articles,
          Open Access repositories, archives, and journals:

   •   “Open Access Overview,” by the University of Minnesota Libraries.
          This is an introduction to Open Access, and specifically how it pertains
          to librarians. It also provides additional resources and information
          from SPARC about open access for librarians:

   •   “Open Access Publishing: A New Model Based on Centuries of Tradition,”
       by the University of Washington Libraries.
           This is a brief introduction to Open Access publishing for librarians,
           and includes supplementary links to related guides for librarians
           regarding open access support:

   •   “Open Access Publishing,” by Berkeley Library Scholarly Communication
          This provides information on open access, funding, and how open
          access scholarship fits into the framework of academic publishing:


   •   “HowOpenIsIt? A Guide for Evaluating the Openness of Journals,” by
       SPARC in conjunction with PLOS and the Open Access Scholarly Publishers
          Presented as a downloadable chart, this guide provides a means to iden-
          tify the core components of open access and how they are implemented
          across the spectrum between “open access” and “closed access”: https://

               Cre at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 127 -

•   “Academic Libraries and Open Access,” by Aaron Tay.
       This is a substantial discussion regarding how Open Access publish-
       ing fits into the space of academic publishing at large, and the current
       issues surrounding Open Access:

•   “Removing the Barriers to Research: An Introduction to Open Access for
    Librarians,” by Peter Suber.
       This article is a detailed description of Open Access for librarians that
       digs into some of the deeper logistics of how Open Access publishing
       works in practice:

•   “Open Access: The True Cost of Science Publishing,” by Richard Van Noorden.
       This article discusses the ethics of publishing, including how Open
       Access quells some of these ethical issues, and the practicality of free
       access to journals:

•   “We’ve Failed: Pirate Black Open Access Is Trumping Green and Gold and
    We Must Change Our Approach,” by Toby Green.
      This discusses current issues in the realm of Open Access publishing
      and offers prescriptions for how to make improvements to current

•   “Open Access Overview: Focusing on Open Access to Peer-Reviewed
    Research Articles and Their Preprints,” by Peter Suber. CC BY 3.0.
       This article provides definitions, initiatives, and discussion surround-
       ing Open Access, including discussions regarding journals, reposito-
       ries, cost models, and the public interest:

•   “Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of Scientific Publishing Bad for
    Science?” by Stephen Buranyi.
         This article discusses the ethics of the traditional academic publishing
         model and its impact on the propagation of new research and scientific
- 128 - CHAPTER 5

   •   “Understanding Open Access: When, Why, and How to Make Your Work
       Openly Accessible,” by Lexi Rubow, Rachael Shen, and Brianna Schofield at
       the Samuelson Law, Technology, and Public Policy Clinic. CC BY 4.0.
           This is an in-depth overview of Open Access and how to make your
           own work openly accessible:

More Information about Open Access and OER Advocacy
   •   ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access Repository Mandates and Policies, by the
       School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of South-
          This is a searchable international registry of existing Open Access poli-
          cies, including their terms and details:

   •   “OER and Advocacy: What Can Librarians Do?” by the University of Toron-
       to Libraries.
           This contains resources and information on how librarians can sup-
           port OER adoption, and it also provides some faculty perspectives on

   •   “Scholarly Communication Toolkit: Scholarly Communication Overview,”
       by the Association of College & Research Libraries.
           This is a toolkit to help librarians integrate a scholarly communication
           perspective into library operations and programs, as well as prepare
           presentations on scholarly communication issues for administrators,
           faculty, staff, students, and other librarians:

More Information about Emerging Models
of Open Access Publishing
   •   “Open in Order to . . . Accelerate Research and Scientific Discoveries,” by
       Timothy Vollmer. CC BY 4.0.
          This is an article about the value of Open Access based on a recap of a
          Creative Commons Slack chat about the importance of preprints for
          Open Access publishing:
                 Cr e at i v e Common s for Li brar ian s an d E ducator s - 129 -

  •   “Q&A with PLOS Cofounder Michael Eisen,” by Richard Poynder.
         This is an interview with Michael Eisen about the costs and future of
         Open Access publishing:

   1. Martha Kyrillidou and Mark Young, eds., ARL Statistics 2002-03 (Washington,
      D.C.: Association of Research Libraries, 2004), table 2,

  2. Peter Suber, “Open Access Overview: Focusing on Open Access to Peer-reviewed
     Research Articles and Their Preprints,” Earlham College, June 21, 2004, revised
     December 5, 2015,

  3. Currently, the Termination of Transfer tool covers U.S. copyright and contracts
     controlled by U.S. law only. Creative Commons is working to expand the tool to
     provide information and resources about provisions with similar effect around
     the world.

  4. The SCAE and the addenda are being updated by Creative Commons in 2018.

  5. Éric Archambault, Grégoire Côté, Brooke Struck and Matthieu Voorons, Research
     Impact of Paywalled Versus Open Access Papers, (Quebec, Canada: Science-Metrix
     and 1Science, 2016)

  6. “Open-access Mandate,” Wikipedia, last edited March 22, 2019, https://en.wikipedia

   7. National Institutes of Health, “Public Access Policy,”

  8. Most OER are “born” digital, though they can be made available to learners in
     both digital and printed formats. Of course, digital OER are easier to share, mod-
     ify, and redistribute, but being digital is not what makes something an OER or not.

  9. While in many countries (such as many EU member states) cost may not be a
     problem, restrictive copyright and narrow fair use and fair dealing rights can
     limit new teaching methods.

  10. This is a Creative Commons adaptation of the UNESCO OER definition: http://

  11. Drafted by OER Comms, which is a coalition of North American open education
      advocates working on OER communication:
- 130 - CHAPTER 5

  12. Creative Commons’ existing Search tool is at

  13. “Quality Considerations,” PBWorks, https://openeducationalresources.pbworks

  14. SPARC, OER Mythbusting, (Washington, D.C.: SPARC, 2017),

  15. While in many EU member states and some other countries cost may not be a
      problem, restrictive copyright and narrow fair use and fair dealing rights can
      limit new teaching methods.

  16. See Oklahoma State University’s Provost & Senior Vice President of Academic
      Affairs declaration of support in the promotion and tenure process for faculty
      working with OER:

A                                          Aoki, Keith, 37
“About the Licenses” (Creative Commons),   ARL (Association of Research Libraries), 95
       59                                  article processing charge (APC), 97
“About the Open Publication License”       “Article Processing Charge” (Wikipedia), 97
       (Wiley), 59                         Ashcroft, Eldred v., 4, 9–10
“Academic Libraries and Open Access”       assessment, of OER, 114–115
       (Tay), 127                          Association of College & Research Libraries,
accessibility                                    128
   of CC-licensed work, 72                 Association of Research Libraries (ARL), 95
   of OER, 114, 118, 121                   attribution
Actualham website, 103                        for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 83
adaptations                                   CC license, enforcement of, 55
   CC licensor choice about, 42               for collection, 82
   of CC-licensed works, 79–81                for remix of CC-licensed work, 79
   characteristics of, 52                     for reuse of CC-licensed works, 76, 77–78
   collections vs., 81–83                  Attribution element, 42–43, 73
   copyright of, 20                        Attribution license
   as exclusive right of creator, 19–20       See CC BY (Attribution) license
   indication of work as, 67               Attribution-NoDerivatives license
   NoDerivatives term, 52                     See BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives)
   of OER, 115–116                                 license
   public domain, CC0 for, 53              Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
   rules/scenarios for, 83–84                    license
   ShareAlike licenses, 53                    See BY-NC-ND (Attribution-
adapter’s license                                  NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)
   for adaptations of CC-licensed work,            license
         83–84                             Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
   chart of, 84                                  license
   license compatibility, 85–86               See BY-NC-SA (Attribution-
advocacy, OER, 128                                 NonCommercial-ShareAlike) license
“all rights reserved” copyright            Attribution-ShareAlike license
   approach of, 13                            See BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike)
   remixing, 115–116                               license
American University Washington College     authors
       of Law, 36                             control of use of CC-licensed work, 73

                                                                                 - 131 -
- 132 - In dex

authors (cont’d)                                Boundless, 11
  copyright for works of original               Boyle, James, 37
       authorship, 18                           Buranyi, Stephen, 127
  credit for works in public domain, 30         BY condition, 49
  exclusive rights of, 15–16, 19–21             BY licenses
  Open Access publishing, 95–97                   for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 84
  publishing rights, educating about, 97–98       description of, 50–51
  scholarly publishing today, 93–95               icons for, 50
  See also creators                               license compatibility, 85
Authors Alliance, 98                            BY-NC (Attribution-NonCommercial)
author’s rights, 17, 18                               license
“Author’s Rights” (Wikipedia), 36                 for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 84
automatic copyright, 16, 24                       function of, 50
automation, of attribution, 78                    license compatibility, 85
Azzam, Amin, 104                                BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-
                                                      NoDerivatives) license
B                                                 choice of, 84
BC Campus                                         function of, 51
   on CC licenses for OER, 120                    NoDerivatives term, 52
   MARC records for OER, 117                    BY-NC-SA (Attribution-NonCommercial-
BC Open Textbook Project                              ShareAlike) license
   for examples of open textbooks, 107            for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 84
   notice in footer of, 65                        CC license legal cases, 120
Benkler, Yochai, 11                               function of, 50
Berkeley Library Scholarly Communication          ShareAlike requirement of, 53
      Services, 126                             BY-ND (Attribution-NoDerivatives) license
Berne Convention for the Protection of            choice of, 84
      Literary and Artistic Works                 function of, 51
   on derivate work, 19                           NoDerivatives term, 52
   on fair use, 33                              BY-SA (Attribution-ShareAlike) license
   on moral rights, 20                            for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 84
   revisions/amendments to, 24–25                 function of, 50
   on works that cannot be copyrighted,           license compatibility, 85
         28–29                                    ShareAlike requirement of, 53
   world map showing parties to, 25
“Best Practices for Attribution” (Creative      C
      Commons), 78                              call-to-action, 123
best practices, for OER accessibility, 121      Cape Town Open Education Declaration, 107
Blake, David, 10                                Cards Against Humanity, 71
Blogs and Wikis: a fictitious debate (video),   CC
      104                                          See Creative Commons
Bollier, David                                  CC Australia, 63, 64
   on commons, 7                                CC buttons, 8
   “The Commons Short and Sweet,” 10            CC BY
   The Wealth of the Commons: A World              common deeds for, 41
         beyond Market and State, 10–11            legal code of, 40
books                                           CC BY 2.0 (Attribution 2.0 Generic), xi
   CC license rights for, 48                    CC BY 3.0 (Attribution 3.0 Unported), xi
   exclusive rights, 19                         CC BY 4.0 (Attribution 4.0 International), xi
   Statute of Anne on, 17                       CC BY (Attribution) license
Bound by Law? Tales from the Public Domain         function of, 50
      (Aoki, Boyle, & Jenkins), 37                 icon of, 61
                                                                               I n de x - 133 -

  for OER, 120                                     CC licensing, considerations after, 69–76
  Open Access publishing under, 96–97              changing legal terms on, 70–71
CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial            charging for, 71–72
      4.0 International), xi                       control of use of, 73
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-                      finding/reusing, 76–78
      NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0              legal cases on, 73–75
      International), xi                           marking, 67–68, 88
CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 (Attribution-                      remixing, 79–86, 115–116
      NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0              Center for the Study of Public Domain
      International), xi                               (Duke Law School), 37
CC BY-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NoDerivatives         City University of New York, 124
      4.0 International), xi                    Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient Care
CC BY-SA 3.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0               (open textbook), 109
      Unported), xi                             collections
CC BY-SA 4.0 (Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0           adaptations/remixes vs., 81–83
      International), xi                           as not adaptations, 52
CC Certificate                                     OER collection, 107, 113
  CC licenses resources recommended by          commons
        participants, 59–60, 89                    CC’s organizational strategy and, 9
  copyright law resources recommended              economic model of, 7
        by participants, 37                        resources on, 10–11
  purpose of, viii                              commons deeds, 40–41
  resources recommended by participants         “The Commons Short and Sweet” (Bollier),
        in, 12                                         10
CC Global Network                               Communia, 36–37
  people participating in, 8                    compatibility
  porting of CC licenses, 57                       CC License Compatibility Chart, 117
CC license chooser                                 license compatibility, 85–86
  for CC license choice, 68                        resources on license compatibility, 88
  for code identifying CC license, 65           “Compatible Licenses” (Creative Commons),
  image of, 66                                         88
CC License Compatibility Chart, 85              compulsory licensing schemes, 34
CC license deed, 63, 65                         The Conversation website, 8
CC licenses                                     copies
  See Creative Commons (CC) licenses               attribution when reusing CC-licensed
CC Search                                                works, 77–78
  for automation of attribution, 78                as exclusive right of creator, 19
  for finding CC-licensed works, 76–77             legal case on CC licenses, 74–75
  for finding OER, 113–114                      Copy (aka copyright) Tells the Story of His Life
CC0 Public Domain Dedication tool                      (video), 18
  applying, considerations before, 61–63        copyright
  applying license, 65                             adaptations of CC-licensed works and, 80
  attribution not required in, 77                  CC license scope and, 45–49
  for dedication of work to public domain, 29      CC licenses work on top of, 40
  finding works in public domain, 30–31            collections and, 82–83
  function of, 44                                  control of use of CC-licensed work, 73
  icon for, 29                                     Creative Commons, creation of, 2–6
  for MARC records for OER, 117                    expansion of, vii
  three-pronged legal approach of, 53              expiration of, 28
  URL for, xi                                      licensing/transfer, 35
CC-licensed works                                  Open Access publishing and, 96
  CC License Compatibility Chart, 117              open copyright licenses of CC, 1
- 134 - In dex

copyright (cont’d)                             Coursera, 35
  open pedagogy, restriction of, 103           court cases
  ownership of copyright, for CC license          additional details on, 86–87
        application, 62–63                        CC license legal cases in Open Education,
  publishing rights, educating authors                  120
        about, 97–98                              on CC licenses, 55–56, 73–75
  scholarly publishing and, 94                 creation, of OER, 119–122
“Copyright and Exceptions” (Kennisland),       Creative Commons (CC)
     36                                           on adaptations, 80
“Copyright Basics” (U.S. Copyright Office),       on CC license enforcement, 55
     35                                           CC licenses, vii–viii
“Copyright for Educators & Librarians”            copyright law and, 13–14
     (Coursera), 35                               creation of, vii
copyright holder                                  definition of, 1
  automatic copyright/registration of             goal of, viii
        copyright, 16                             licenses, list of, xi
  journals as, 94                                 “Marking Your Work with a CC License,”
  ownership of copyright, for CC license                65, 67
        application, 62–63                        Open Education/Open Access policies,
copyright infringement                                  enforcement of, 125
  CC license enforcement and, 55–56               public domain guidelines, 30
  liability and remedies, 34–35                   public domain icon, 29
copyright law                                     public domain tools, 30–31
  “all rights reserved” approach, 13              resources for OER search, 113–114
  exceptions/limitations to, 31–34                resources on, 9–12
  fundamentals of, 15–16                          resources on CC licenses, 87–89
  global aspects of, 23–27                        search tool, 77
  history of, 17                                  story of, 2–6
  how it works, 18–22                             Termination of Transfer tool, 98
  importance of, 14                               today, 6–9
  intellectual property, types of, 22          Creative Commons (CC) licenses
  public domain, 27–31                            CC License Compatibility Chart, 117
  purpose of, 17–18/                              CC-licensed works, finding/reusing,
  resources on, 34–37                                   76–78
copyright term                                    CC-licensed works, remixing, 79–86
  Berne Convention’s standards for, 25            choosing/applying, 61–69
  copyright expiration, 28                        court cases, details on, 86–87
  expansion of, 17                                Creative Commons’ organizational work,
  length of, 16                                         9
  worldwide map of copyright term length, 26      enforceability of, 54–58
“Copyright Term and the Public Domain in          exceptions and limitations to copyright
     the United States” (Cornell University             and, 34
     Library’s Copyright Information              idea behind, 4
     Center), 36                                  license design/terminology, 39–44
“Copyright Term” article (Wikipedia), 25          license scope, 45–49
“CopyrightX” (Harvard Law School), 35             license types, 49–54
Cornell University Library’s Copyright            license versions, 56
     Information Center, 36                       licensor considerations after CC
countries                                               licensing, 69–76
  exceptions and limitations to copyright,        list of, xi
        33–34                                     moral rights/similar rights, coverage of,
  international copyright laws, 24–25                   20–21
                                                                         I n de x - 135 -

   number of CC-licensed works worldwide,     credit
        growth in, 5                             See attribution
   number of, success of, vii–viii            Crews, Kenneth, 33
   for OER, 105, 107                          Crowdsourcing, 8
   for OER, choice of, 119–120                CTEA (Sonny Bono Copyright Term
   overview of, 7–8                                 Extension Act), 3
   prevalence of, 6                           culture, 8
   resources on, 10, 59–60, 88–89             customization, of CC licenses, 70
   resources on CC licenses, 59
   resources on court cases on, 86–87         D
   resources on license compatibility, 88     “Debunking the Tragedy of the Commons”
   resources on marking licensed works, 88          (On the Commons), 11
   resources on modifying licenses, 87        “Defining Noncommercial” (Creative
   scholarship about, 88–89                         Commons), 57–58
   search for works via, 77                   “Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy” (Wiley &
   “some rights reserved” approach, 13              Hilton), 102
Creative Commons (CC) licenses, choosing/     derivative works
      applying                                   adaptations of CC-licensed works, 79–81
   applying CC license, steps for, 63, 65,       CC licensor choice about, 42
        67–68                                    description of, 19
   CC license chooser, 66                        NoDerivatives term, 52
   choice of license, flowchart for, 64          See also adaptations
   choice of license, questions for           DeRosa, Robin
        consideration, 63                        Actualham website, 103
   considerations before applying, 61–63         A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with
   marking works created by others, 69                Students, 102
Creative Commons Certificate, 1               design, of CC licenses, 39–44
“Creative Commons License” (Wikipedia), 59    digital rights management (DRM), 72
“Creative Commons Licenses Legal Pitfalls:    Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ),
      Incompatibilities and Solutions”              97
      (Dulong de Rosnay), 88                  discovery, OER, 111, 112–113
Creative Commons movement, 8                  disposable assignment, 103
Creative Commons NZ, 124                      Doctorow, Cory, 10
Creative Commons Open Education               DRM (digital rights management), 72
      Platform, 91–92                         Duke Law School, 37
creativity, 8, 14                             Dulong de Rosnay, Melanie, 88
creators                                      duration of copyright
   attribution for reuse of CC-licensed          See copyright term
        works, 76, 77–78                      Dylan, Jesse, 4
   CC license scope and, 45–49
   CC licenses and, 39                        E
   CC-licensed work, accessibility of, 72     education
   CC-licensed work, charging for, 71–72        Open Educational Resources, 104–110
   copyright grants exclusive rights to,        open pedagogy/practices, 101–104
        15–16                                   opening up your institution, 122–126
   copyright law, purpose of, 17–18             See also Open Education
   copyright rights of, 2                     educators
   exclusive rights of, 19–21                   OER, creating/sharing, 119–122
   public domain, dedication of work to, 29     OER, finding/evaluating/adapting,
   term of copyright, 17                             110–117
   what is copyrightable, 18–19                 OERs and, 104–110
   See also licensors                           open pedagogy/practices, 101–104
- 136 - In dex

educators (cont’d)                            fair use
   opening up your institution, 122–126          CC license application and, 46
   See also faculty                              concept of, 21
Eisen, Michael, 129                              importance of, 31
Eldred, Eric, 3–4                                overview of, 32–33
Eldred v. Ashcroft, 4, 9–10                      Philpot vs. Media Research Center,
Electronic Frontier Foundation, 33                    75
“Elinor Ostrom’s 8 Principles for Managing    Fair Use Evaluator (online tool), 36
       a Commons” (On the Commons), 11        A Fair(y) Use Tale (Faden), 36
employer                                      fallback license, 53
   CC license, rights covered by, 48          FASTR (Fair Access to Science and
   “work for hire” doctrine, 15                      Technology Research Act), 100
“Enclosure” (Wikipedia article), 11           FedEx Office, Great Minds vs.
enforceability, of CC licenses, 54–58            central question in, 74–75
evaluation, of OER, 114–115                      details on, 86
exceptions and limitations to copyright          OER decision, 120
   overview of, 32–34                         “Field Guide to Misunderstandings about
   resources on, 36, 59                              Open Access” (Suber), 101
   rights to use copyrighted works without    film, 48
         permission, 21                       5R permissions, 106–107
   why it matters, 31–32                      #FixCopyright, 18
exclusive rights                              format, 72
   copyright law, purpose of, 17–18           Free Culture Game (Molle Industria), 11
   of creator or owner of copyright, 18       Free Culture (Lessig), 10
   of creators, granted by copyright, 15–16   funding
   granted by copyright, 19–20                   current funding cycle for research
   moral rights, 20                                   articles, 93–94
   of patent holders, 22                         of OER content, 123
   similar and related rights, 20–21             Open Access public policy and, 100
expression, of idea, 16                          Open Education/Open Access policies
                                                      and, 125
F                                                optimized funding cycle for research
faculty                                               articles, 96
   copyright rights of, 15–16                    for scholarly research, 95
   OER, creating/sharing, 119–122
   OER, finding/evaluating/adapting,          G
        110–117                               global aspects of copyright
   OERs and, 104–110                             exceptions and limitations to copyright,
   open access practices/policies at                  33–34
        university, 99–100                       international laws, 24–25
   Open Access to scholarship, 92–101            national laws, 26–27
   open pedagogy/practices, 101–104              why it matters, 23–24
   opening up your institution, 122–126          worldwide map of copyright term length,
   publishing rights, educating about,                26
        97–98                                 Gold OA, 97
Faden, Eric, 36                               Google
Fair Access to Science and Technology            Advanced Search for general OER search,
      Research Act (FASTR), 100                       113
fair dealing                                     exceptions and limitations to copyright
   CC license application and, 46                     example, 31
   concept of, 21                             grants
   overview of, 32–33                            OER grant program, 123
                                                                           I n de x - 137 -

  Open Education/Open Access policies,           OERs and, 105
        enforcement of, 125                      sharing capability with, 2
  for research, 94                           “Is the Staggeringly Profitable Business of
Great Minds vs. FedEx Office                        Scientific Publishing Bad for Science?”
  details on, 86                                    (Buranyi), 127
  OER decision, 120                          “It’s Time to Protect the Public Domain”
  overview of, 74–75                                (Wikimedia Foundation), 37
Great Minds vs. Office Depot
  details on, 86–87                          J
  OER decision, 120                          Japan
  overview of, 74–75                            exceptions and limitations to copyright
Green, Toby, 127                                     in, 33
Green OA, 97                                    similar and related rights in, 21
A Guide to Making Open Textbooks with        Jenkins, Jennifer, 37
      Students (DeRosa & Jhangiani), 102     Jhangiani, Rajiv, 102
                                             JISC, 114
H                                            joint ownership, 16
Harvard Law School, 35                       journals
Harvard Open Access Project, 99–100             in Open Access publishing process, 96
Helfrich, Silke, 10–11                          publishing in OA journals, 97
higher education, OER in, 108–109               scholarly publishing in, 94–95
Hilton, John Levi, 102
history, CC, 9–10                            K
How Can I Find OER? (video), 112             Kennisland, 36
How Does the Commons Work (video), 10        knowledge, 8
“How I Lost the Big One” (Lessig), 9         Kreutzer, Till, 88–89
How to Register a Trademark (Canada):
      Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights –   L
      What’s the Difference? (video), 22     Le Voyage dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon)
“HowOpenIsIt? A Guide for Evaluating the            (film), 27
      Openness of Journals” (SPARC), 126     learners
human readable terms, 40–41                     copyright rights of, 15–16
                                                OER, benefits of, 107–108
I                                               OER information for, 124
icons                                           open pedagogy, copyright restriction
   for CC BY license, 50, 61                          of, 103
   of CC license elements, 42–43                open pedagogy, examples of, 103–104
idea, 16                                     legal cases
impact factor, 98                               additional details on, 86–87
independent contractors, 15                     CC license legal cases in Open Education,
intellectual property, 22                             120
international laws                              on CC licenses, 55–56, 73–75
   copyright laws, commonalities among, 15      resolving, 57–58
   copyrights treaties/agreements, 24–25     legal code, 40
   world map showing parties to Berne        legal tools, 7–8
         Convention, 25                      Lessig, Lawrence
   worldwide map of copyright term length,      challenge of copyright expansion, vii, 3–4
         26                                     Creative Commons, creation of, 4
Internet                                        “How I Lost the Big One,” 9
   CC creation and, vii, 4–6                 liability and remedies
   copyright law and, 14                        knowledge of, 21–22
   global aspects of copyright and, 23–24       resources on, 34–35
- 138 - In dex

LibGuides, 122                                 Mickey Mouse Protection Act, 3
librarians                                     modifications
   LibGuides on Creative Commons, 122            control of use of CC-licensed work, 73
   OER, creating/sharing, 119–122                resources on modification of CC licenses,
   OER, finding/evaluating/adapting,                   87
        110–117                                “Modifying the CC Licenses” (Creative
   open access policies, crafting of, 99–100         Commons), 70, 87
   publishing rights, educating authors        Molle Industria, 11
        about, 97–98                           moral rights
library resources, 108                           as feature of many countries’ copyright
license compatibility                                  laws, 20
   of adaptation of CC-licensed work, 83         types of, 18
   chart of, 85                                  of works in public domain, 28
   choice of license and, 85                   movement, Creative Commons as, 8
   overview of, 85–86                          Murray, J. B., 104
   resources on, 88                            myths, of open access publishing,
“License Compatibility” (Wikipedia), 88              100–101
licenses                                       “Myths about Open Access Publishing”
   See Creative Commons (CC) licenses                (University of Minnesota), 101
licensing and transfer
   knowledge of, 21–22                         N
   options for creators, 35                    National Institutes of Health (NIH), 100
licensors                                      national laws, 26–27
   CC license, choice of/applying, 61–69       Nature (journal), 98
   CC license scope, 45–49                     Nature Research, 98
   CC licenses, choices for, 42–43             NC license
   CC licensing, considerations after, 69–76     See Noncommercial (NC) license
   control of use of CC-licensed work, 73      ND license
   enforceability of CC licenses, 54–58          See NoDerivatives (ND) license
   reuse, expectations about, 58               neighboring rights, 20–21
limitations                                    New Zealand, 124
   See exceptions and limitations to           Next System Project, 10
        copyright                              NIH (National Institutes of Health), 100
Lumen Learning, 11                             “No, Really—Stop Saying ‘High Quality’”
                                                     (Wiley), 115
M                                              NoDerivatives (ND) license
machine readable layer, 41                       adaptation of CC-licensed work under,
Mann, Jonathan, 7                                     80, 81, 83
MARC records, 116–117                            icon for, 43
Maricopa County Community College, 123           as not OER compatible, 119
marking                                        Noncommercial (NC) license
  CC license marking, steps for, 67–68           icon for, 43
  resources on, 88                               legal cases on CC licenses, 74–75
  work with CC license, 63, 65                   overview of, 51
  works created by others, 67–68, 69             reusing CC-licensed works and, 78
“Marking Your Work with a CC License”          nonprofit organization, 6
     (Creative Commons), 65, 67
“Marking/Creators/Marking Third Party          O
     Content” (Creative Commons), 88           OA
Media Research Center, Philpot vs., 75           See Open Access
Merkley, Ryan, vii–viii, 10                    OER
metadata, 116–117                                See Open Educational Resources
                                                                             I n de x - 139 -

“OER and Advocacy: What Can Librarians          “Open Access: The True Cost of Science
       Do?” (University of Toronto), 128              Publishing” (Van Noorden), 127
OER Commons, 77                                 open courseware, 107
OER Policy Development Tool, 123                Open Data, 8
OER Policy Registry, 123                        Open Education
OER World Map, 113                                CC license legal cases in, 120
OER-enabled pedagogy                              discussion lists, 113
   cost to learners/legal permissions of, 108     OER, creating/sharing, 118–122
   definition of, 102                             OER, open textbooks, open courses,
   examples of, 103–104                                 104–110
Office Depot, Great Minds vs.                     OER resources, finding/evaluating,
   details on, 86–87                                    adapting, 110–117
   OER decision, 120                              Open Access to scholarship, 92–101
   overview of, 74–75                             open pedagogy/practices, 101–104
official translations, 57                         opening up your institution, 122–126
On the Commons, 11                                overview of chapter on, 91–92
online platforms, 113                             policies, enforcing, 125
Open Access Explained! (video), 96                resources on, 126–129
Open Access (OA)                                  terms of, 102
   CC licenses for, 91                            timeline of OERs, 109–110
   description of, 92                           Open Education Consortium, 107
   movement, 8                                  Open Education Matters: Why Is It
   myths about, 100–101                               Important to Share Content? (video),
   Open Access publishing, 95–97                      119
   policies, enforcing, 125                     Open Education Platform, 91–92
   practices/policies, 99–100                   Open Education Task Force, 123
   publishing options, 97                       Open Educational Practices, 102, 103–104
   publishing rights, educating authors         Open Educational Resources (OER)
         about, 97–98                             benefits of, 107
   resources on, 126–128                          CC licenses and, 91
   scholarly publishing, existing approach        creating/sharing, 118–122
         to, 93–95                                definition of, 106
“Open Access Overview: Focusing on Open           finding/evaluating/adapting, 110–117
       Access to Peer-Reviewed Research           5R permissions, 106–107
       Articles and Their Preprints” (Suber),     free library resources vs., 108
       127                                        importance of, 105–106
“Open Access Overview” (University of             legal cases on CC licenses, 74–75
       Minnesota Libraries), 126                  movement around, 8
Open Access publishing                            OER-enabled pedagogy, 103–104
   myths about, 100–101                           in primary/secondary/higher education,
   practices/policies, 99–100                           108–109
   process of, 95–97                              purpose of/shift towards, 104–105
   resources on emerging models of,               resources on OER advocacy, 128
         128–129                                  terms of open education, 102
“Open Access Publishing: A New Model              timeline of, 109–110
       Based on Centuries of Tradition”         “Open in Order to . . . Accelerate Research
       (University of Washington Libraries),          and Scientific Discoveries” (Vollmer),
       126                                            128
“Open Access Publishing” (Berkeley Library      Open Innovation, 8
       Scholarly Communication Services), 126   open licensing
Open Access Scholarly Publishers                  policy, 123
       Association, 120                           resources on, 10
- 140 - In dex

open movement                                 PLOS Biology, 97
  CC’s programs for support of, 9             policies
  description of, 6                             Creative Commons NZ, 124
  players in, 8                                 open access policies, 99–100
  resources on, 11                              Open Education/Open Access policies,
Open Pedagogy Notebook website, 104                   enforcement of, 125
open pedagogy/practices                         open licensing policy, 123
  copyright restriction of pedagogy, 103      “The Political Economy of the Commons”
  definition of, 102                                (Benkler), 11
  examples of, 103–104                        porting, of CC licenses, 57
  importance of, 101–102                      Poynder, Richard, 129
  terms of, 102                               primary education, OER in, 108–109
Open Science movement, 8                      privacy rights, 47
“Open Textbook Community Advocates CC         Program on Information Justice and
     BY License for Open Textbooks” (BC             Intellectual Property (American
     Campus), 119–120                               University Washington College of
Open Textbook Library, 107, 117                     Law), 36
open textbooks                                Project Management for Instructional
  Clinical Procedures for Safer Patient             Designers (Wiley), 103
        Care, 109                             public, rights of, 21
  definition of, examples of, 107             public domain
  MARC records/metadata for OER, 116–117        author credit and, 30
Open Washington network, 113, 121               CC license application and, 46
open-source software, 8, 48                     CC license for work in, 59
OpenStax, 107                                   CC public domain tools, 44
organization, 8–9                               definition of, 27
orphan works, 16                                end of copyright term, 3
Out of Copyright: Determining the               finding works in, 30–31
     Copyright Status of Works (website),       how works enter, 28–29
     36                                         remixing of works in, 115
                                                resources on, 36–37
P                                               what you can do with work in, 29
patent law, 22                                  why it matters, 28
pedagogy                                      Public Domain Manifesto (Communia),
   See open pedagogy/practices                      36–37
peer review                                   Public Domain Mark tool
   of OER, 115                                  function of, 44
   of scholarly articles, 94, 95                purpose of, 30–31
performance, 19                               Public Domain Review (journal), 37
permissions                                   public domain tools
   CC license scope, 46                         functions of, 44
   CC licenses for OER, choice of, 119–120      moral rights/similar rights, coverage of,
   5R permissions for OERs, 106–107                   20–21
   granted by CC licenses, 40, 75             Public Knowledge, 47
   licensor choices about, 42–43              public policy, on Open Access, 100
   for remixing/adapting OER, 115–116         publishing
“Persistent Myths about Open Access             educating authors about their publishing
       Scientific Publishing” (Taylor), 101           rights, 97–98
philosophies of copyright, 35–36                of educational materials, 105
“Philosophy of Copyright” (Wikipedia), 35       OA practices/policies, 99–100
Philpot, Larry, 75                              OA publishing, myths about, 100–101
Philpot vs. Media Research Center, 75           Open Access publishing, 95–97
                                                                         I n de x - 141 -

  resources on Open Access publishing,          on scholarship about CC licenses,
       128–129                                       88–89
  scholarly publishing today, 93–95             See also videos
publishing agreements, 98                    reusers
                                                CC license marking and, 67
Q                                               CC license scope and, 47
“Q&A with PLOS Cofounder Michael Eisen”         finding/reusing CC-licensed works,
    (Poynder), 129                                   76–78
                                                irrevocable nature of CC license/CC0, 62
R                                               of NC-licensed content, 58
registration, of copyright, 16                  NoDerivatives icon and, 43
Registry of Open Access Repository              remixing CC-licensed works, 79–86
       Mandates and Policies (ROARMAP),      right of paternity, 18
       99                                    right to protect the work’s integrity, 18
remixing                                     rights
   adaptations of CC-licensed works, 79–81      See exclusive rights; moral rights
   adaptations/remixes vs. collections,      ROARMAP (Registry of Open Access
         81–83                                     Repository Mandates and Policies), 99
   adapter’s license, choice of, 84          ROARMAP: Registry of Open Access
   care with, 79                                   Repository Mandates and Policies
   CC licenses and, 4, 5                           (School of Electronics and Computer
   CC-licensed works, 70                           Science), 128
   collections vs. remixes, 81–83            Ruben, Lexi, 128
   license compatibility, 85–86              rule of territoriality, 26–27
   OER, 115–116
   rules/scenarios for, 83–84                S
“Removing the Barriers to Research: An       sale, of CC-licensed work, 71–72
       Introduction to Open Access for       Schofield, Brianna, 128
       Librarians” (Suber), 127              scholarly communication, 93
renewable assignments, 103–104               “Scholarly Communication Toolkit:
repository, 97                                      Scholarly Communication Overview”
research articles                                   (Association of College & Research
   current funding cycle for, 93–94                 Libraries), 128
   open access practices/policies, 99–100    “Scholarly Communication” (Wikipedia), 93
   Open Access publishing, 95–97             scholarly literature
   optimized funding cycle for, 96              open access practices/policies at
resources                                             university, 99–100
   on adaptations, 80                           Open Access publishing, 95–97
   on CC licenses, 59–60                        Open Access to, 92–101
   on copyright law, 34–37                      publishing rights, educating authors
   on court cases on CCL licenses, 86–87              about, 97–98
   on Creative Commons, 9–12                    scholarly publishing today, 93–95
   for finding OER, 113                      Scholars Copyright Addendum Engine, 98
   on license compatibility, 88              School of Electronics and Computer Science
   on marking licensed works, 88                    at University of Southampton, 128
   on modifying licenses, 87                 search
   on OER advocacy, 128                         finding works in public domain, 30–31
   on Open Access, 126–128                      finding/reusing CC-licensed works,
   on Open Access Publishing models,                  76–78
         128–129                                for OER, 111, 112–113
   on open education, 126–129                secondary education, OER in, 108–109
   on public domain works, 30                self-archiving, 97
- 142 - In dex

ShareAlike (SA) element                          T
   CC licenses with requirement of, 53           TASL approach
   icon for, 43                                     for attribution, 78
   licensor requirement for, 42                     example of marking image with,
ShareAlike (SA) licenses                                 68
   for adaptations of CC-licensed work, 81,         for marking your work, 67
         83                                      Tay, Aaron, 127
   license compatibility, 85                     Taylor, Mike, 101
A Shared Culture (video), 4                      teachers
sharing                                             copyright rights of, 15–16
   of adaptations of CC-licensed work, 80, 83       OERs and, 104–110
   CC licenses reflect belief in, 8                 See also educators; faculty
   CC’s power of, viii                           technical format, 72
   Creative Commons, creation of, 2, 4           technology, copyright law and, 14
   of OER, 119–122, 124                          Tennant, Jon, 98
   of OER, rewarding, 125                        termination of copyright transfers and
   of OERs, 105, 106                                   licenses
“Sharing OER” (Open Washington network),            knowledge of, 21–22
       121                                          mechanisms for, 35
Shen, Rachael, 128                               Termination of Transfer tool, 98
similar and related rights, 20–21, 47            terminology, of CC licenses, 42–44
Similar Rights, 21, 47                           3D printing, 47
Simply Said: Understanding Accessibility in      “three-step” test, 33
       Digital Learning Materials (video), 120   time
smartphones, 101                                    See copyright term
software, 48                                     timeline, of OER, 109–110
“some rights reserved” approach, 13, 40          trade agreements, 24–25
Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act          trademark
       (CTEA), 3                                    protection as independent of copyright
SPARC                                                    protection, 30
   on academic publishing system, 94–95             purpose of, 22
   “HowOpenIsIt? A Guide for Evaluating          trademark law, 22
         the Openness of Journals,” 126          “The Tragedy of the Commons” (Boundless
   OER Mythbusting Guide, 114–115                      & Lumen Learning), 11
Statute of Anne, 17                              translations, 57
“Stop Saying ‘High Quality’” (Wiley), 115        treaties, 24–25
Suber, Peter
   “Field Guide to Misunderstandings about       U
         Open Access,” 101                       “Understanding Open Access: When,
   on Open Access literature, 95                      Why, and How to Make Your Work
   “Open Access Overview: Focusing on                 Openly Accessible” (Rubow, Shen, &
         Open Access to Peer-Reviewed                 Schofield), 128
         Research Articles and Their             UNESCO Ljubljana OER Action Plan, 107
         Preprints,” 127                         UNESCO Paris OER Declaration, 107
   on open access policies, 99         , 116
   “Removing the Barriers to Research: An        universities
         Introduction to Open Access for           OER in, 108–109
         Librarians,” 127                          open access policies of, 99–100
   “A Very Brief Introduction to Open              open access, promotion of, 101
         Access,” 126                              opening up your institution, 122–126
                                                 University of California Open Access Policy,
                                                                                I n de x - 143 -

University of Minnesota Libraries                 website
   “Myths about Open Access Publishing,”            CC license deed link on, 63, 65
         101                                        terms of service, 70
   “Open Access Overview,” 126                    “We’ve Failed: Pirate Black Open Access Is
University of Toronto, 128                              Trumping Green and Gold and We
University of Washington Libraries, 126                 Must Change Our Approach” (Green),
U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, 86                   127
U.S. Constitution, 3                              “Why CC BY?” (Open Access Scholarly
U.S. Copyright Office, 35                               Publishers Association), 120
U.S. District Court for the Central District of   Why OER? (video), 106
       California, 86–87                          Why Open Education Matters (video), 6, 10
U.S. Supreme Court, vii, 4                        “Wiki/CC License Compatibility” (Creative
“User-Related Drawbacks of Open Content                 Commons), 88
       Licensing” (Kreutzer), 88–89               Wikimedia Commons, 113
utilitarian purpose, 17                           Wikimedia Foundation, 37
V                                                   “Article Processing Charge,” 97
Van Noorden, Richard, 127                           “Author’s Rights,” 36
Version 4.0, 56, 58                                 CC license choice and, 63
“A Very Brief Introduction to Open Access”          “Copyright Term,” 25
      (Suber), 126                                  “Creative Commons License,” 59
videos                                              “Enclosure,” 11
   Copy (aka copyright) Tells the Story of His      learner assignments for open pedagogy,
        Life, 18                                          104
   How Can I Find OER? 112                          “License Compatibility,” 88
   How Does the Commons Work, 10                    listing of sources of CC material, 77
   How to Register a Trademark (Canada):            “Philosophy of Copyright,” 35
        Trademarks, Patents and Copyrights          “Scholarly Communication,” 93
        – What’s the Difference? 22               Wiley, David
   Open Access Explained! 96                        “About the Open Publication License,” 59
   Open Education Matters: Why Is It                “Defining OER-Enabled Pedagogy,” 102
        Important to Share Content? 119             on OER, 106–107, 115
   A Shared Culture, 4                              Project Management for Instructional
   Simply Said: Understanding Accessibility               Designers, 103
        in Digital Learning Materials, 120        Won’t Lock It Down (video), 7
   Why OER? 106                                   work created by others, 67–68
   Why Open Education Matters, 6                  “work for hire” doctrine, 15
   Won’t Lock It Down, 7                          World Intellectual Property Organization
Vollmer, Timothy, 128                                   (WIPO), 24–25, 33
                                                  World Trade Organization (WTO), 24
W                                                 WorldCat, 116–117
waiver, of creator rights, 53                     worldwide community
“We Copy like We Breath” (Doctorow), 10             See global aspects of copyright
“We Need to Talk about Sharing” (Merkley),
     10                                           Y
The Wealth of the Commons: A World beyond         Year of Open (website), 102
     Market and State (Bollier & Helfrich),
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