in Education, TechTips

Creative Commons and Copyright

Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright was meant as a balance between protecting the rights of creators and encouraging creativity and innovation. However, many would argue that there is no balance. Creative Commons was born 11 years ago to meet the desire of creators to determine the terms of use of their creations. Creative Commons doesn’t replace copyright but lets creators to decide how copyright applies to his/her work. This is great for supporting the remix/reuse/share nature of the current digital age. There are six different licenses for creative commons, some allowing commercial use, some requiring that the work created is re-shared, all requiring attribution, etc.




When you find something on the Internet, this only gives you permission to view it. If you want to share it, re-use it (for example in a PowerPoint or document), or remix it (e.g. combining two images), you need to make sure that the creator is okay with your intended use. You can use the creation (image, video, sound, song, etc.) if:

  • the terms of use says its okay
  • a Creative Commons license exists for the work and gives you permission
  • the creator says it’s ok
  • you pay for a license for the intended use

I advise students to look for Creative Commons licenses when looking for multimedia for projects. I encourage them to create and make their own product if they cannot find one that they are permitted to use.

  1. Hey Damianne…Good post about CC and Copyright. I'm curious to find out how you're getting the teachers at NIS to only use CC-licensed work. I'm finding I'm having a hard enough time getting teachers to use media in their work, and having them worry about CC and sourcing is a huge barrier to getting people comfortable with tech. It only makes sense to have your teachers buy into the whole idea of CC and copyright if you're getting the students to buy in as well, right? Any tips would be welcome.

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