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OER Toolkit : Section 3 - Openly Licensing your Curriculum Resources

Applying an open licence turns an educational resource into an Open Educational Resource (OER). This section of the Toolkit explains how to apply an open licence to your educational resources.

 

3.1   Preparing to openly license your learning resource

There is no registration required to license your curriculum resource.  All you need to do is select a Creative Commons licence and then display the licence on your work.  The important part of this process is to know which materials you have the right to license (ie openly licensed materials) and those that you do not have the right to licence (ie often third-party content).  Below we’ll go through how to openly license material and how to do this if your openly licensed resource includes third-party material.

 

3.2   Applying a Creative Commons licence

If you have the rights to licence your entire curriculum resource under a Creative Commons Licence (ie you’re using openly licensed resources or you have permission to licence all materials openly) then the actual process of applying a licence is straightforward.

 

Step 1:  Selecting the correct Creative Commons for your resource

Hopefully Sections 1 and 2 were useful to help you to understand how to select an appropriate Creative Commons licence for your work.

Here are a few brief reminders:

  • If you have not included any content with a Share-Alike licence (or, more precisely, if your work is not an adaptation of a Share-Alike work), then you should choose the Creative Commons Attribution licence for your content;
  • If you have not included any content under a NonCommercial licence in creating your work, you should choose the Creative Commons Attribution licence for your content;
  • If you have adapted content under a Share-Alike licence to create your material, you’ll need to use the Share-Alike licence for your material;
  • If you have adapted content under a NonCommercial licence to create your material, you’ll need to use the same or another NonCommercial licence for your content.

Further information on using Share-Alike and NonCommercial content is available in the documents accompanying this Toolkit.

 

Step 2:  displaying the Creative Commons licence on your resources

Once you select a licence, the next step is to display this licence on your material. Doing this ensures that people who wish to use your material know how they can do this by easily following the terms specified in your selected licence.

Regardless of the medium in which the material appears, the following licence information is required:

  • CC licence name with a link to the appropriate licence text.
  • CC logo.
  • The name of the copyright holder.
  • The name of the author (this may be different from the copyright holder), the year, and the title of the resource.

You may wish to add information on how you wish to be attributed.  For example:

Smartcopying requests attribution as:  National Copyright Unit, Copyright Advisory Groups (Schools and TAFEs)

Though not required by the licence, some additional information that is frequently included is:

  • Institutional branding or logo.
  • General contact person and their contact details (eg email address).
  • Acknowledgements of those who contributed (funders, collaborators).
  • Any necessary disclaimers.
  • If it’s a hard document, and the work is also published on the internet, you may want to include the URL for the resource.

How you display the licence will largely depend on the type of material that you’re licensing.  Depending on the type of the work, there are a range of ways you can include the licence details. For instance, if you were licensing a presentation, your licence could be included on a final slide. If you were licensing a film, you would include the licence in your end credits. 


There may be certain works (such as images or audio files) where it’s not possible to attach the licence visually. For images, the licence could be attached along the side of the image (depending on the size), or in the information provided about the image, or on the web page displaying the image. For an audio file, the licence can be spoken. You can also include the licence in brief in the filename itself, eg.:

CC_Kiwi_by_Creative_Commons_Aotearoa_New_Zealand_CC-BY.jpg

Digital resources (including images, video and audio) also allow you to mark documents with attribution details. You may be familiar with the fact that music files often contain additional information (called ‘metadata’), such as the name of the artist, the name of the album and the year of the music release. Similarly, photographs often contain the date when the picture was taken, or even the location. Such metadata can also be used to include information about the Creative Commons licence. Typically, this is done using the metadata function within the software used to create the resource.

Some common examples are set out below:

Documents

To license a document that you have produced under a Creative Commons Attribution licence, the simplest way is to paste a suitable statement at the beginning or end of your document.

This statement contains the attribution, followed by a URL to the Creative Commons licence itself:

© 2015 by [insert name of copyright owner].
Except as otherwise noted, this [insert content title] is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.  
06-3.1


If it is a large document, it is recommended that attribution information be placed on every page. This is because there is a chance that the document may be cut up into smaller segments as it is distributed in the form of sections or chapters.

 

Webpages

On web pages, there are two steps:

  1. Alter your Copyright Statement/Terms and Conditions to reflect that your website is licensed under Creative Commons (see Appendix 6 for draft terms); and
  2. Apply the licence to your website (preferably with HTML and the Creative Commons logo in the footer).In this step the licence is usually inserted in the footer or near the bottom of your website so that it travels along to every page of the website (i.e. it doesn’t only sit in the copyright notice or on the homepage).See the Smartcopying website as an example of this.

 

There are two ways to do this, depending on how your website is edited:

Copy and paste the CC licence logo onto the website; 06-3.1 
or CC BY.

  1. It is also best practice to hyperlink the icon to the licence deed:
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/; or

  2. Insert the HTML code.

a)   For the normal icon:
<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons Licence" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/88x31.png" /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.

b)   For the compact icon: 
<a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/"><img alt="Creative Commons Licence" style="border-width:0" src="https://i.creativecommons.org/l/by/4.0/80x15.png" /></a><br />This work is licensed under a <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License</a>.

 

Video

Include a ‘video bumper’ or a still picture with the licence information at the start or end of the video.

For example:

video bumper

Audio

When introducing the resource, read into the script the details of attribution and licensing. If the audio files are located on the internet include the attribution and licence details with a description/link to the resource.

All this information can be found on the Creative Commons website at  https://creativecommons.org/choose/.

CC Licence Chooser 

Selection of the Creative Common Attribution Licence in the Creative Commons Licence Chooser:

 

3.3       How to label third-party material in your OER

There is no single correct way to label third-party content, and different situations may require more or less complicated notices and marking.

There are two often used mechanisms – you can do either or both of these, as appropriate for the medium:

1.    Giving a notice next to third-party content

This involves marking or notating all third-party content.  To do this you should indicate directly underneath the content.

In addition to citing the source of copyright material, it is best practice to include the following information as well:  the owner of the copyright, the terms of use for the content, and how you are allowed to reproduce the content (whether that be through direct permission from the copyright owner, through a Creative Commons licence or through a statutory licence).

Example:  direct permission from the copyright owner to use content

‘How to label third-party content © NSW Department of Education, all rights reserved, used with permission. 

 Example:  material licensed under Creative Commons

‘How to label third-party content, © NSW Department of Education, used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’  

 

  • 2.    A general notice listing all third-party content
    1. This involves providing a general notice that identifies all third-party content.  This notice would usually be included in your terms of use or copyright statement for a website or in the verso page or bibliography for a work.

      This notice should specifically identify all third-party content.  This can be done by listing all the third-party content specifically or, where possible, listing material based on content type.

      Example:  listing all the third-party content

      ‘All material on this website, except as identified below, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’

      Material that is not licenced under a Creative Commons licence is:

        *  Government Coat of Arms
        *  Material protected by a trademark
        *  
      Logo
        *  
      Photographs on pages 4, 5 and 6
        *  
      Poem on page 2
        *  
      [etc]

      All content not licensed under a Creative Commons licence is all rights reserved, and you must request permission from the copyright owner to use this material.’  

      Example:  identifying third-party content by content type

      ‘All text on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’

      All images are all rights reserved, and you must request permission from the copyright owner to use this material.’  

       

      3.    Giving a general notice and a notice next to third-party content

      This involves giving a general notice that indicates any third-party content will be identified, and then identifying the third-party content within the website/work.

      This general notice would usually be included in your terms of use or copyright statement for a website or in the verso page or bibliography for a work.

      Example: general notice for a website 

      ‘Copyright material available on this website is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’  

      Example:  general notice for a document

      ‘Except as otherwise noted, this [insert name of content] is licenced under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’ 

      Then next to all third-party content you can include a notice regarding the relevant copyright owner and the material’s terms of use and, where possible, the licence or permission you’ve received from the copyright owner.


      Example:  direct permission from the copyright owner to use content

      ‘How to label third-party content © NSW Department of Education, all rights reserved, used with permission.’ 

           
      Example:  material licensed under Creative Commons

      ‘How to label third-party content, © NSW Department of Education used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence.  To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.’  

       

      With whatever method you choose, the most important thing is that you clearly and effectively identify third-party material.

      For additional information see:
      http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/information-sheets/schools/labelling-third-party-content-in-creative-commons-licensed-material

       

      3.4       Acknowledgements

      This section of the Toolkit is an adaptation of:

       

      This Toolkit is released under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence (CC-BY 4.0) so that it can be shared and adapted openly, as long as attribution is given.

      You are free to use this content so long as you attribute the National Copyright Unit, Copyright Advisory Groups (Schools and TAFEs)