Chapter 4: Using Creative Commons Licensed Work

Applying a license is easy, but there are important components to consider when doing so to your own works.

  1. It is permanent. The licenses and the CC0 are irrevocable. This means that legally, they cannot be cancelled. Once you apply the license, it is there until the work expires. So, carefully consider what you want to do with the work. Know your options. You, the author or creator, must control the copyright in the work. You cannot license or copyright things in the public domain or works already copyright or cannot license items owned by your employer without permission. It’s a seemingly hairy component of this process, but it is important. As mentioned, CC does not replace copyright, it works with copyright.
  2. Attribution. An important part of the CC licenses is attribution or giving credit to the creator. There are ways to cite OER sources using APA Style (see below). But you can also use the TASL approach, which is recommended by Creative Commons.
  3. Derivatives. It is also important to indicate if the work is based on someone else’s work. If it is a modification (like this book) or an adaptation, see example below, demonstrate this and provide attribution to the creator of the original work. You should also link to the original work and the license that applies.

Review the following slides to learn more about citing your sources, either in APA format or using the TASL approach. There are ungraded review questions at the end. It can be complicated to know what to do and how, so please refer to this website, which shares the best practices for attribution. Best Practices for Attribution or


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An OER Workshop by Andrea Bearman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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