2.1 Background of Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is an internationally active, non-profit organization that provides free licenses for creators to use so they can make their work available to the public. These licenses allow the creator to give permission for others to use their work under certain conditions.

Every time a work is created, such as when a journal article is written or a photograph taken, that work is automatically protected by copyright. Copyright protection prevents others from using the work in certain ways, such as copying the work or putting the work online.

CC licenses allow the creator of the work to select how they want others to use the work. When a creator releases their work under a CC license, members of the public know what they can and can’t do with the work. This means that they only need to seek the creator’s permission when they want to use the work in a way not permitted by the license.

The great thing is that all CC licenses allow works to be used for educational purposes. As a result, teachers, and students can freely copy, share and sometimes modify and remix a CC work, without having seeking the permission of the creator.


What is Creative Commons by Smartcopying is licensed under CC BY.


Video: Wanna Work Together?: This video provides a basic introduction to Creative Commons. (Video Length 3:00)

Video: A Shared Culture: In this video, some of the leading thinkers behind Creative Commons describe how the organization is helping “save the world from failed sharing” through free tools that enable creators to easily make their work available to the public for legal sharing and remixing. (Video Length 3:20)


The background of Creative Commons as well as the video resource should help in furthering your understanding of the nonprofit organization and why it is so critical and valuable to open education. - Have you had experience with Creative Commons? - If so, provide an example of what you have done using Creative Commons.


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