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Open Educational Resources (OERs): Reusing Creative Commons License Materials

This guide is designed to help Minnesota State University Moorhead faculty find, create, evaluate, and incorporate Open Educational Resources and Affordable Textbooks in the classroom and online.

Reusing CC Content

Now that you have found CC materials that you would like to use, you need to do two important things:

One of the first things that you should do is to make sure that you have enough information that you can provide proper attribution when you use the item.  Remember all CC Licensed materials require attribution be given to the creator.  The best practice for attribution is to apply the TASL approach.  For more information on proper attribution, check out this page in the Creative Commons Wiki. 

  • T = Title (what is the item called?)
  • A = Author (who created it? = include their name and link to their profile page if possible)
  • S = Source (where can I find it? = link to original page where the item was found)
  • L = License (link to the Creative Commons License found at https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/ = don't just list the name of the license, provide a direct link to the license)

Let's say we want to use this photo found in Flickr for our new course packet that we are creating on cats:

Tabby cat by Nikita (https://www.flickr.com/photos/malfet/1413379559/) used under CC BY 2.0

Beneath the photograph in Flickr, we see the following information:

Tabby Cat photo in Flickr rights statement

From looking at the information above, we can find the name of the person who took the photo, the date, the source (in this case Flickr and we have the URL to link back to the source), and we have the license (which shows up as "Some rights reserved"). 

When we click on the text that says "Some rights reserved," it takes us to: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Note that this is an Older version of a CC License, but that does not mean that it has expired or that it no longer applies.  The License Version Number simply represents when that particular version was written. CC improves its licenses through the process of versioning (that is updating the legal code) and while there may be slight differences, the different versions are largely the same.  The latest version is Version 4.0 published in 2013. 

So we have enough information to make sure we can properly attribute the source of the photo that we want to use in our course packet.  The attribution would look like this in our course packet:

Source: "Tabby cat" by Nikita is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Next, you need to make sure you are using the work properly.  In other words,  you need to know what the Creative Commons License allows you to do.  So getting back to the License under the photo, we learn that:

  • this is a By 2.0 license which is a CC BY License (Creative Commons Attribution License) which tells us that
  • we can Share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) AND Adapt (remix, transform, build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially) as long as we properly attribute the photograph.

Therefore, we are free to use the photo in our class packet as long as we properly attribute the photo.

Remember to always check each item that you are reusing to ensure that you are following the proper license.  Our page on Creative Commons Licenses explains each one.  For more information, check out the Creative Commons page at https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/licensing-types-examples/licensing-examples/

Attribution

Material on this page courtesy of Minnesota State University, Mankato


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.