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ⓘ Wallace Building Under Construction

The library’s circulating books, journals, and many of its services are now located in the Ritter Ice Arena. More information.

Open Educational Resources

Creative Commons Licenses

OERs often utilize Creative Commons (CC) licensing. CC licenses provide a way for creators to retain their rights to their works, while still allowing for free usage and adaptation of it. 

When a CC license is applied to a work, it means that anyone can use that work, as per the terms in the license, without having to contact the author/copyright holder for permission ahead of time. 

While Creative Commons is the ideal licensing for OER, you can find lots of other materials, such as photos and music, available for use under these licenses. 

Types of CC Licenses

There are six types of Creative Commons Licenses (content from creativecommons.org): 

Attribution
CC BY

This license lets others distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.

This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

 

Attribution-NonCommercial
CC BY-NC

This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution-ShareAlike
CC BY-SA

This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. 

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
CC BY-NC-SA

This license lets others remix, adapt, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.

Attribution-NoDerivs
CC BY-ND

This license lets others reuse the work for any purpose, including commercially; however, it cannot be shared with others in adapted form, and credit must be provided to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs
CC BY-NC-ND

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

CC0: The Public Domain

CC0

Typically, works enter the public domain when their copyright expires (currently life of the author + 90 years in the US). However, the CC0 license allows creators to release their works into the public domain early. Unlike the other 6 CC licenses, in which authors retain their copyright while allow certain uses, with CC0, author's relinquish their copyright completely. 

Finding CC Licensed Works

Creative Commons Images: 

  • CC Search 
  • Flickr - not all Flickr images are available under a CC license. Make sure to check before using. 
  • Wikimedia Commons - also contains other media such as video and audio, though it primarily contains images. 

Creative Commons Music: 

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Use of RIT resources is reserved for current RIT students, faculty and staff for academic and teaching purposes only.
Please contact your librarian with any questions.

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