The CC basics

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Creative Commons (CC) enables educators to share content legally by providing a number of copyright licenses and tools that creators may use to grant the public specific permissions on how to use their works.

Wikipedia svg logo-en.svg  Copyright
Copyright is a set of exclusive rights granted to the author or creator of an original work, including the right to copy, distribute and adapt the work. However, in order to balance these exclusive rights for the public interest, there exist exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as fair dealing and fair use.

Copyright owners have the exclusive statutory right to exercise control over copying and other exploitation of their works for a specific period of time, after which the work is said to enter the public domain.

This extract is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. It uses material from the article "Copyright", retrieved 2 November 2010.

If you own the exclusive rights to a property, as the owner you may decide how that property is used. For example, you may give permission to someone to use your car or to stay in your house. In the case of copyright, the owner holds the exclusive rights to copy, distribute and adapt an original creative work. Similarly, a copyright holder may give permission regarding these rights. Creative Commons provides the legal tools that help authors manage their intellectual property rights and permissions associated with their creative works.

Refine your copyright

Creative Commons provides the creator with a spectrum of choices resulting in a "some rights reserved" approach to "all rights reserved" copyright. Traditional "all rights reserved" copyright grants the creator exclusive rights to his or her work, which restricts others from copying, distributing and/or adapting the work without permission.

What if educators want to realize the full potential of their vocation and share knowledge freely?

Think of Creative Commons as a tool which enables educators to create and share learning materials rooted in a culture of giving permissions rather than a culture of imposing restrictions by default.

As an educator, you are free to choose the most open license which gives others the permissions to copy, distribute or modify your work as long as they credit you for your original work. It is also possible to specify conditions to using your work by selecting the appropriate license terms.

Video reflection

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Activity: Wanna work together?
  1. Take a look at the short video "Wanna work together?" embedded in this activity.
  2. Share what you have learned by posting a microblog entry on WEnotes, twitter or Google+. Don't forget to include the hash tag "#OCL4Ed" in your message:
    • Did you learn anything new watching this video? Tell us what you learned in less than 140 characters.

"Wanna work together?" - A Creative Commons video which pays tribute to the people around the world using CC licenses to build a better, more vibrant creative culture.

A free content video streamed from Vimeo
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Creative Commons.

From "all" rights reserved to "some" rights reserved

Creative Commons means only some rights are reserved.
Creative Commons is a non-profit entity dedicated to realizing the full potential of the Internet — universal access to research, education, full participation in culture, and driving a new era of development, growth, and productivity. Universal access to education is possible, but its potential is hindered by outdated copyright laws and incompatible technologies. Creative Commons works to minimize these barriers, by providing licenses and tools that anyone can use to share their educational materials with the world. CC licenses make textbooks and lesson plans easy to find, easy to share, and easy to customize and combine — helping to realize the full benefits of digitally enabled education.

In summary, CC licenses and tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to keep their copyright while allowing certain uses of their work — a “some rights reserved” approach to copyright — which makes their creative, educational, and scientific content instantly more compatible with the full potential of the internet. The combination of CC licenses and tools in the hands of users makes possible a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.


Text adapted from and