Copyright for teaching at VU: Creative Commons

Creative Commons

In this section you will find information about the suite of Creative Commons licences and how you can use them when selecting items, such as images, for your teaching units.

According to their website, Creative Commons is a global network promoting the legal sharing of knowledge and creativity.  "Creative Commons provides free, easy-to-use copyright licenses to make a simple and standardized way to give the public permission to share and use [...] creative work – on conditions of [the creators'] choice".

There is also a site which has information for teaching resources and information on copyright and the CC licences: 

Copyright and teaching resources faqs

Key Points

The Creative Commons licences are a standardised way for you to use and share works created by others without infringing copyright.

Creative Commons allows you to use works, within the parameters of the licences, without seeking permission.  There are a number of different licences which range from very open to more restrictive terms and conditions.

The suite of licences include core conditions which are:

  • BY = Attribution  Creative Commons Attribution Icon - figure of person in a circle
  • NC = Non Commercial Creative Commons Non Commercial Icon - figure of a dollar sign, slashed through, in a circle relates to the use and not to the user.  
  • ND = No Derivative Creative Commons icon for No Derivative - equals symbol in a circle means that you can:
  •  adapt but not share your adaptation
  • use a detail of the whole work without permission
  • be flexible in attribution, ie use URI, DOI, ISBN, or URL - even hyperlink
  • SA = Share Alike Creative Commons ice for Share Alike - anti-clockwise circular arrow in a circle

These core conditions are combined to create the terms of the licences, as follows:

Infrographic showing the spectrum of Creative Commons licences from most open (CC0) to least open (CC BY NC ND) followed by copyright.

[“Creative Commons License Spectrum” by Shaddim (CC BY). Image Source: Creative Commons - Understanding Free Cultural Works]

For further information about these licences and their uses see the page Creative Commons Licences.