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Are you really CC Savvy?

Test what you've learned by explaining CC to your friends.


You've had some time to explore Creative Commons licensing and see what it's all about. Now for the real test: pick one lucky friend, family member or colleague and try explaining CC licenses to them. Think about how that particular person might relate as a creator or user of a work. Does she listen to a ton of music? Is he an avid creator of LOLcats? What key takeaways can you hit on to get them excited to explore CC on their own?
After you've had the conversation, come back here to answer the following questions and tell us anything else you found notable about the exchange. Also share any preparations you did prior to the conversation.
What questions did your friend ask that you couldn't answer?
Did your friend raise any interesting points? Pros and cons? 
Did your friend get it? Do you get it?
[Feel free to post any lingering questions you have in the discussion tab. You might also want to check out the CC FAQ to see if your or your friend's question is answered there.]


Contribute to an international research project and help us understand more about the use of open resources! Take this closing survey to give feedback on your learning experience and help us improve the course:

Task Discussion

  • Meg said:

    The person I talked to didn't know creative commons existed. They thought it was interesting that you can use so much that is out there. 

    on Jan. 18, 2017, 4:07 p.m.
  • jbeecher said:

    I think the biggest part of our discussion that stood out is just how unaware so many people are of creative commons work.  

    on Jan. 17, 2017, 3:33 p.m.
  • Nikesh Balami said:

    I discussed the topic with one of my friends, who is computer engineering student and he was so much interested in the topic. I think we both got it  and he doesn't raise any difficult question but we discussed lots on how to raise this camping in our country so that others people can benefit from it.

    on Oct. 15, 2016, 3:39 a.m.
  • Elizabeth said:

    I explained CC to one of our library media specialists. I think we both get it!  How 'kid friendly' is the CC search engine?  We work with 10 - 13 year olds.

    on March 14, 2014, 9:07 p.m.

    Jane Park said:

    Good question! The CC search engine is actually not a search engine.
    It is a portal to other platforms' search engines, which is why there are filters you can use. So it's as safe as Google might be (if you use the Google filter) or Flickr or Wikimedia Commons. You can always stick to just a few of the platforms you know and trust.

    on March 17, 2014, 5:35 p.m. in reply to Elizabeth

    Elizabeth said:

    Thanks Jane!

    on March 18, 2014, 11:05 a.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • Joeystarnes said:

    I found myself in a discussion with 4 other English teachers just the other day about how to properly cite images.  Some teachers were firm in their belief that if we use images (or if students use images) for educational value, then we are working under "fair use" and do not need to cite or give attribution to the creator of the image.  I happily explained that I am enrolled in a course all about Creative Commons (some of them had never heard of it) and will be sharing what I learn with the department members.  Most of them were interested and excited, but one was still adamant that we should not include a citation or attribution on a presentation when using images found online.  I was shocked, but I look forward to helping her understand Creative Commons and all that it entails.

    on March 12, 2014, 3:48 p.m.

    Jane Park said:

    That is super interesting Joey! I'm surprised that teachers think fair use means not having to give an author credit for his or her work. They might want to take a look at for clarity around that..

    on March 17, 2014, 5:27 p.m. in reply to Joeystarnes
  • Laura said:

    Well, I talked with a friend of mine and he is a teacher and a designer. I think I expose the theme very well and he could take the main ideas. So:
    • What questions did your friend ask that you couldn't answer? The most important... "and how I get money with my works?" Maybe during many years I have couldn't answer or understand very well that topic. And for many people that is the most important think because "they don't live with good intentions"
    • Did your friend raise any interesting points? Pros and cons? The pros were about the recognition of his work, that he could go to anywhere, for example, in the web. But the cons, the money, how he get ir if the people prefers get his work for free?
    • Did your friend get it? Do you get it? the concept and licenses yes, but no about the money.
    on March 9, 2014, 1:42 a.m.

    Jane Park said:

    Hey Laura!

    Re making money -- see

    One thing of importance to note is that CC licenses provide creators with more options in how to share their work. If they want to reserve all rights to a work because their primary plans for the work is to make money off of it, CC licensing may not always be the right choice for them. However, many creators have found value in using one of the NC licenses to reserve commercial rights while encouraging broad dissemination.


    on March 10, 2014, 7:16 p.m. in reply to Laura

    Laura said:

    Thank you very much!

    on March 15, 2014, 8:43 p.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • Renato Santos said:

    In the general my friend get the point and thinks that CC is a excellent idea. But there where a point that i coudn't answer. The question was: What happens if anyone doens't fulfills the licence?
    on March 3, 2014, 10:24 p.m.

    Jane Park said:

    on March 10, 2014, 6:38 p.m. in reply to Renato Santos
  • Stephanie said:

    As part of grant, we will be required to use a specific Creative Commons license for course materils. I think this challenge helped explain why we will be required. 

    on Feb. 27, 2014, 2:22 p.m.
  • Sara said:

    I discussed CC with my supervisor. We create science curriuculum that can be used both in school and out of school. Our big question is whether or not we should allow usage for commercial purposes. We are fine with non-profits that run tuition-based science camps using our materials. Does that mean we should allow commerical usage or not? Is this a place where CC+ could be used to specify things?

    Other than that we've heard great things about CC being used throughout the informal science communication field.

    on Jan. 3, 2014, 3:51 p.m.
  • Lena said:

    I talked with my friend, Harlan, who is a DJ in his spare time. He was surprised by the story of the White Stripes and the bassist, and had no idea that creative commons could enable collaboration between different musicians who have never met. We also talked about some of the international implications of creative commons, especially for students using the learning resources of othe students, something we both frequently do. We both understand creative commons!

    on Oct. 24, 2013, 3:32 p.m.
  • Sérgio Leal said:

    I talked to my wife (she is from a different profissional area than mine, she is CRA) and never heard of CC, only Copyright.

    I explained the concept of the CC and its meaning and some applications and she was curious and liked the idea.

    She was excited to explore CC on their own from now on.

    What I did to address the CC licenses was to show my answers to the tasks of this course and show some videos. She also answered a questionnaire to see if she understand the various CC licenses and used the CC Chooser. Became a fan.

    She understood the concept very well (as is my wife also could not say anything else :) ).

    on Aug. 20, 2013, 4:50 a.m.
  • Maria Teresa said:

     I spoke of the CC with a colleague of mine trying to explain their use and usefulness. I reported the following example: imagine that you have created a LO on any teaching   topic. This work could also be used by other teachers in Italy. Each teacher may also contribute to the improvement of your work with his ideas and his work. Imagine that this LO is identified in America or Japan. The teachers of the various nations would need to translate your product in their own language in order to use and improve it. In this case the free sharing of your work would be of great help to many people. Important is that the original work is attributed to you and derivative works are shared freely without any profit. It's this way of working that allows the educational community to grow and get rich.

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 6:02 p.m.

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 6:02 p.m. in reply to Maria Teresa

    Jane Park said:

    Great points! You hit on several that others have expressed (and continue to express), eg. the translation point. See for more info.

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 9:11 p.m. in reply to Maria Teresa

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 9:12 p.m. in reply to Jane Park

    Maria Teresa said:


    following the task for the second week I tried to represent in a visual the dialogue with a colleague through ToonDoos. The same has been posted on my blog

    on Aug. 19, 2013, 11:30 a.m. in reply to Jane Park

    Jane Park said:

    These cartoons very cool Maria Teresa! Nice work.

    One point though: I wouldn't say that CC offers any additional protections that copyright doesn't already offer. CC does, however, give the creator options to be able to manage those protections in a more flexible way by reserving some rights and giving away others.

    on Aug. 19, 2013, 2:25 p.m. in reply to Maria Teresa

    Maria Teresa said:

    Yes Jane, I agree with you. Copyright is based on the logic  "all rights reserved", Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved".

    Creative Commons allows the authors to share own work in the manner specified by them selecting and applying the licenses.
    on Aug. 19, 2013, 3:45 p.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • Jeannette M E Lee said:

    I had this discussion with a friend who is a writer. While she likes the idea of CC licenses philosophically, she wonders why any creator will use a license that allow commercial use of his or her work and wonders how many people have used CC BY and CC BY-SA (other than Wikipedia). We had a discussion about reach and market. If allowing others to use your works commerically can increase your readership or listeners as long as you are credited, then it is worth it. We both agreed that these licenses can only work as long as the original creator is credited.

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 12:29 p.m.

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 12:30 p.m. in reply to Jeannette M E Lee

    Jane Park said:

    So many! Especially in education. See and

    Also the recent $2 billion TAACCCT grant program by the US Dept of Labor requires CC BY on all of its grantee-produced materials. The rationale behind this open policy is that taxpayers paid for this program, therefore the all outputs should be made publicly and freely available back to them.

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 9:09 p.m. in reply to Jeannette M E Lee

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 9:10 p.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • hardcorekancil said:

    I actually did this last week with my husband who is a DJ and budding music producer. I started the conversation by asking him under what license he released his work on Soundcloud and other platforms.

    Licensing of creative works not an issue he had previously given much thought to concerning his own productions. What he keeps having to consider and work around is copyright on music he wants to include in mixes for example.

    It turns out that he did not know that there was an implied copyright attached to the work he's been sharing online. We then discussed what he wishes for other people to do with his creations and he decided on the most open license, CC BY.

    Reasons for this choice:

    * He wants his fans to play the music, download and share it.

    * He hopes other music producers will get inspired to build up on his creations

    * He does not intend to make money off the music he produces. He earns a living from live shows and makes music for the love of it.

    We haven't resolved the issue of whether to include Share Alike to ensure that the music remains openly licensed. Could it happen that someone reuses the work and then claims copyright for part of it, thus preventing others from using even the initial work?

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 7:36 a.m.

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 7:37 a.m. in reply to hardcorekancil

    Jane Park said:

    Your husband's reasons for sharing are awesome! He might be interested in the various CC music communities that exist where artists share their music under CC licenses:

    Re the CC BY-SA versus CC BY license, there is a whole lot of different POVs on that, for one or the other. I think it depends on what you want. Here is an argument for SA for example, and a rebuttal to that argument.

    But regarding your question about someone claiming copyright for their reuse, you can only claim copyright on a work that is yours, and in order for a work to be yours, you would have to have created something that is significantly different and creative from the original work to merit a derivative work. Even once you get to that point, the CC BY license on the original work still requires you to attribute the original author, and the original work will always remain free under the CC BY license, regardless of how the derivatives are licensed.

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 8:57 p.m. in reply to hardcorekancil

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 8:58 p.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • Clare Forrest said:

    This has clarified CC use for me and I will use it for my own work more often now. And ensure my students use it on their work too.

    When explaining it to my gamer 16 year old son, who also had learnt about CC at school, he asked what are the rules about YouTube videos called "Let's Play". People video themselves playing a video game, commentate the process and post on YouTube. Apparently you can make money doing this (much to my despair) - is this legal copyrightwise? Do the creators of the game have the right to stop this happening - or are they happy that their game is getting some publicity?

    on Aug. 10, 2013, 6:23 a.m.

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 10, 2013, 6:24 a.m. in reply to Clare Forrest

    Jane Park said:

    Unfortunately I can't answer this question for you as any uses on YouTube is governed by their terms of use which is at I imagine using the video game footage (which is owned by a third party) might be in question... and it may come down to a question of fair use or fair dealing depending on where you live.

    Regarding CC licensed content on YouTube, YouTube enables CC BY licensing for content creators. So if you own the copyright to a video and want to share it under CC BY you can do so. Here is their landing page for CC BY videos:

    on Aug. 12, 2013, 8:30 p.m. in reply to Clare Forrest

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 12, 2013, 8:37 p.m. in reply to Jane Park
  • Chris Dillon said:

    I've enjoyed completing this course today. Took a punt at explaining the concept at the dinner table to Ms16, Mr14 & Mr11.

    They took the info on-board and cogitated. They cogitated some more. Ms16 tells me she knows about CC from Digital Tech classes at school.

    They then all tried finding images using advanced image search on Google, but expressed disappointment at the results with the lack of useful images they found with their search terms. They suggested the community will have to work at getting more providers involved.

    Ms16 wonders where the law stands regarding 'fan art' produced for sites like and the subsequent sharing of material on multi-linked Tumblers. We checked and found the site is quite good at explaining the rules; including links to CC.

    Overall an easily understood and easily deliverable topic.

    On closer examination of the regarding ownership of Teacher produced resources I found several links to the Creative Commons pages. Teachers would need to ensure (and it can become contractual) their ownership rights. In either case it asserts that teachers (the author) retains his or her moral rights in the work, including their moral right to be identified, The school is required to continue to acknowledge the teacher as author of the work. Seems a perfect instance for at least CC Attribution.

    on Aug. 7, 2013, 4:23 a.m.

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 7, 2013, 4:24 a.m. in reply to Chris Dillon

    Jane Park said:

    Yes -- for images we often recommend the Flickr advanced search, and also has good images.

    Deviantart has had a CC using community for a while! Here is an old case study written about them:

    on Aug. 8, 2013, 7:30 p.m. in reply to Chris Dillon

    kslattery said:

     I am out of the classroom until August 20th. Have a great summer break!
    on Aug. 8, 2013, 7:31 p.m. in reply to Jane Park