Comparing Creative Commons with Copyright

Copyright protects the exclusive right of the originator of a work to copy or license the work. In contrast, Creative Commons provides an alternative to the restrictive nature of copyright, and provides learners with a more cost-effective option to access materials.

Creative Commons (CC), sometimes referred to as “copyleft,” gives creators a choice in how they allow others to use their creations, whether text, pictures, songs, or other forms.

Creative Commons and other commitments to openness are gaining momentum in many environments: open access, open data, open source, open pedagogy, etc. In this module we concentrate on Creative Commons and its support of open educational resources, more commonly known as OER. We explore how high-quality OER, with their ability to be reused and often remixed, can replace high-cost commercial resources in your courses. Beyond saving your learners money, these OER can boost learning in your courses. With careful curation, you can design and develop courses that include content tailored to your specific learners’ need, modelling your preferred approaches and strategies.

For a brief explanation of Creative Commons, watch the short video Wanna Work Together?

Licensing under Creative Commons covers:

Attribution Icon   Attribution

Commercial Icon   Commercial use

Modifications Icon   Modifications or Derivatives

Share Icon   Share alike – where remixes, mashups, etc. must be shared under the same license as the original

Source: UBC wiki: Creative commons licenses

Check Your Understanding

Play this matching game to test your understanding of the different CC licenses:


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