In order to not be plagiarizing materials, we need to ensure adequate copyright release and attribution for resources we use inside and outside the classroom. This presentation, instead of focusing on copyright issues and limitations, will focus on items placed in whole or in part into the public domain.
Public domain items are available for anyone to use for any purpose. It should be noted that a number of books that are public domain are old – potentially very old – in order to be free of all copyrights. For example, the Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia is from a 1911 version (Project Gutenberg).
Some examples of Public Domain resources:
Public domain resources are good, but limited since all rights must be given up. Therefore, a new trend is taking place and that trend is selective or limited release. One example of this is the Creative Commons.
Larry Lessig of Stanford is pursuing something called the Creative Commons which frees materials from automatically applied copyright restrictions by providing free, easy-to-use, flexible licenses for creators to place on their digital materials that permit the originator to grant rights as they see fit (Fitzergerald, 2007; Smith & Casserly, 2006). As the Creative Commons Website located at http://creativecommons.org/ noted, “Creative Commons provides free tools that let authors, scientists, artists, and educators easily mark their creative work with the freedoms they want it to carry. You can use CC to change your copyright terms from ‘All Rights Reserved’ to ‘Some Rights Reserved’” (Creative Commons, 2007). This holds promise for OER movements because it helps control the costs and legal issues revolving around offering materials freely online (Caswell et al., 2008). Currently, over 30 nations now have creative commons licenses although it has only been in place for four years (Smith & Casserly).
A summary video can be found at http://creativecommons.org/about/ that explains CC well. Other videos, equally good in explain CC, can be found at http://creativecommons.org/videos
Before we go further, let’s remind ourselves what attribution is. It is the ascribing of a work (as of literature or art) to a particular author or artist (Merriam-Webster).
Individuals place Creative Commons licenses on individual items. Thus, there is no fool-proof way to search all items with some type of CC release on them. However, there are some good resources to gets you started:
Equally, there are a number of area-specific methods of searching for creative commons released items.
Some examples are below:
A development stemming from Creative Commons is ccLearn, which was launched in July of 2007, focused specifically on open learning and open educational resources. It emphasizes diminishing legal, technical, and social barriers. A primary goal of ccLearn is to build a comprehensive directory of open educational resources with the assistance of Google with encourages their discovery and subsequent use (Atkins et al., 2007; Bissell, 2007; Brantley, 2007).
Learn more about ccLearn and the Open Education Community at http://creativecommons.org/
Finding ccLearn Resources
A good place to find educational resources that are creative commons released, visit
one of the below
OpenCourseWare (OCW), otherwise known as an open learning initiative, is growing in prevalence in the United States as well as globally and is part of a larger open educational resources movement. Institutions involved in OpenCourseWare initiatives in the United States include founder Massachusetts Institute of Technology OCW, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health OCW, Carnegie Mellon OpenLearningInitiative, Tufts Univeristy OCW, University of California - Irvine , University of Norte Dame OCW , and Utah State Univeristy OCW among others nationally and globally (Opencourseware Consortium , 2006 ). There are other initiatives as well that combine resources from various institutions such as Sharing of Free Intellectual Assets (Sofia) and Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching (Merlot).
Atkins, D. E., Brown, J. S., & Hammond, A. L. (2007). A review of the open educational resources (OER) movement. San Francisco: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Bissell, A. (2007). Announcing ccLearn - the education division of creative commons. Retrieved April 16, 2008, from http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/7583
Caswell, T., Henson, S., Jensen, M., & Wiley, D. (2008). Open educational resources: Enabling universal education. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(1), 1-12.
Creative Commons. (2007). Retrieved August 8, 2007, from http://creativecommons.org/
Fitzergerald, B. (2007). Open content licensing (OCL) for open educational resources. Brisbane, Australia: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Smith, M. S., & Casserly, C. M. (2006). The promise of open educational resources. Change, 38(5), 8-18.
How to Commit a Legal Ripoff (2009, October): http://www.slideshare.net/annearendt/how-to-commit-a-legal-ripoff-creative-commons-2330717/