OERs are often licensed under Creative Commons licences.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation and a set of open licences which creators can use to make it easier to share their work.
Creative Commons licences sit over the top of copyright law which allow for users to easily share and distribute their original work.
It’s like saying to someone, ‘hey, you can use this resource I just published, without asking permission, provided you follow the terms of the licence’.
Why does this matter?
Well, it's important to understand Creative Commons licences (and copyright) before you start using OERs (especially if you want to adapt or remix them).
One of the tricky things about copyright law is that it’s automatic as soon as an original work is created. It can’t be waived and there is no opt-out!
This is where Creative Commons steps in. These licences were developed to make it easier to share and reuse works, especially in an online environment.
There are 6 different Creative Commons licences:
You can learn more about Creative Commons and the licences on the Creative Commons website or watch the video below.
Watch this short video 'Creative Commons Kiwi'
One of the conditions of use of Creative Commons material is attribution. A useful acronym when creating an attribution is TASL, which stands for:
This presentation includes examples of how to attribute Creative Commons images:
You can also check out Creative Commons' attribution information and use online tools to help generate attributions: