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Copyright & Education

Creative Commons

Creative Commons (CC) licensing is the most popular form of open licensing. The open licensing movement grew out of a desire to provide a form of copyright protection for creators with greater flexibility for users to reproduce, distribute and adapt material than the "all rights reserved" model of copyright which is found in copyright law around the world. CC licenses do not mandate that the creator relinquish their copyright. These licenses allow creators to set the terms for how their work is used. For example, some licenses allow for commercial use and some do not allow the work to be adapted or built upon.

The rise of digital content and the restrictive terms of use they are often bundled with, has created challenges for educators to share content as they have in past. It has also led to a sharp increase in the costs of learning materials. CC licenses are a key part of the world wide effort to create and promote course materials that provide more equitable access.

Utilizing CC licensed materials enables educators to:

  • create customized course materials that do not require any additional costs for students

  • avoid the sometimes time consuming and costly process of requesting permissions to copy and share materials