Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning materials that you may freely use and reuse at no cost, and without needing to ask permission. Unlike copyrighted resources, OER have been authored or created by an individual or organization that chooses to retain few, if any, ownership rights.
In some cases, that means you can download a resource and share it with colleagues and students. In other cases, you may be able to download a resource, edit it in some way, and then re-post it as a remixed work. How do you know your options? OER often have a Creative Commons license or other permission to let you know how the material may be used, reused, adapted, and shared.
There are six types of CC licenses - from the most accommodating, CC-BY, under which people can use the work however they want as long as they cite the work, to the most restrictive, CC-BY-NC-ND, indicating that the work can neither be adapted nor be used for commercial purposes. The most current version of CC licenses is version 4.0. In addition to the six CC licenses, content creators can also dedicate their work to the public domain, CC0.
What our licenses do
The Creative Commons copyright licenses and tools forge a balance inside the traditional “all rights reserved” setting that copyright law creates. Our tools give everyone from individual creators to large companies and institutions a simple, standardized way to grant copyright permissions to their creative work. The combination of our tools and our users is a vast and growing digital commons, a pool of content that can be copied, distributed, edited, remixed, and built upon, all within the boundaries of copyright law.