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Open Education Resources (OER)

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Copyright and OER

For an OER to be truly "open," the resource must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be in the public domain, or, 
  • Be licensed in such a way that allows users to access the resource and grants the user with perpetual permission to engage in the following "5R activities:" 
  1. Retain 
  2. Reuse 
  3. Revise 
  4. Remix
  5. Redistribute

Adapted from David Wiley's "Defining the 'open' in Open Content and Open Educational Resources," licensed under CC-BY 4.0

Creative Commons Licenses

Most OERs are licensed in a way that allows users to access, share, and remix the resources. The most common type of OER licensing is Creative Commons (CC) Licensing. CC licensing allows a creator to change to copyright of a work from "all rights reserved" to "some rights reserved." Creative Commons licensing affords the user versatility while licensing, allowing them to customize the license to varying levels of openness. For example, most licenses require users to provide credit to the original creator, but some may add the stipulation that you cannot reuse or remix the OER for commercial purposes. 

Here are examples of the some of the more common Creative Commons licenses used when licensing OER: 

  Attribution (BY)

 Attribution (BY) - ShareAlike (SA)

    Attribution (BY) - NonCommercial (NC) 

  Attribution (BY) - NonCommercial (NC) - ShareAlike (SA)

To learn more about Creative Commons Licenses and to use the license-building tool, visit the Creative Commons Website.

Adapted from the OER Library Guide by University of Texas Libraries, licensed under CC-BY-NC 2.0

This work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 International license. For exceptions, see the Library Copyright Statement.