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Open Education Resources: Copyright and Licensing

This guide provides basic information on finding, remixing, and creating Open Educational Resources

Copyright & Licensing for OER

"Permission Required" by Richard Elzey is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit:

Since OER is defined not just by its free cost, but by free and perpetual permission to engage in the 5 Rs (retain, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute), it's important to tell others exactly how they can and cannot use the OER you've created. Similarly, if you're adopting existing OER or revising it, you must understand how the licenses work, so you know what you can and cannot do. Most OER is licensed using a Creative Commons license, which allows creators to choose exactly how their work can be used and reused. 

Using Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons offers six main licenses that you can choose to publish your work, four of which are appropriate for publishing OER. (No Derivative Works licenses do not allow users to revise or remix). They are listed below, starting with the most accommodating license type you can choose and ending with the most restrictive license type you can choose.


CC Resources