A Closer Look: Creative Commons Licenses

If you’re someone who’s interested in creating OER, or finding open materials to use in the classroom – this post is for you!  We’ll be taking a closer look at how to identify and understand the symbols in Creative Commons Licenses.
Step 1: How to identify a Creative Commons License
If it’s a Creative Commons License, it’s going to look something like this:

The circle on the left (CC) stands for “Creative Commons.” Simply put, this means the item is NOT under traditional copyright.
Step 2:  What do the Creative Commons symbols tell us? 
Great question! The symbols can be a bit confusing at first glance.
The above definitions were written in “legal-ese” – and although the details are important, here are explanations below in more plain and simple language:
The person-icon, CC: BY, indicates that you are crediting the original source. All of the  licenses include the “BY” symbol, because we will always credit the creator – even if the work is modified, or content changed.

The next icon, SA (at left), stands for Share Alike. If you share the work, you have to stay with the original license that you found it under.

The equal sign means: you can use the material, but you cannot alter the content. It’s called ND, No Derivatives. 
And lastly, the dollar sign – NC for Non-Commercial, means that the work may not be used for profit/ commercial purposes.
Step 3: Creative Commons and You
After reading the above, the symbols might still be a little hazy – but the gist of it is to consider how these licensing options can impact Your work. Would you want your OER to be available for commercial purposes? Do you want to limit how future users can modify the content?
All of these considerations are made possible by the Creative Commons Licenses, and we’ll take an even closer look in our next blog post in this series.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *