Open content is material such as texts, images, audiovisual resources, software, etc. that others are free to copy, use and repurpose without asking for permission or paying royalties. Open software is usually published under a GNU Public License. Nonsoftware open content usually is published under a Creative Commons license.
The Creative Commons is a series of ready-made open licenses that have been accepted as legally valid by the U.S. Supreme Court. They are also "portable" to many other countries.
Creative Commons licenses operate according to the motto "some rights reserved." The copyright owner does not give up his or her copyright, but others are licensed to use the content without asking permission or paying royalties, under conditions that the license specifies. There are a half-dozen different licenses, each granting different kinds and levels of freedom, including:
Go to Creative Commons: About the Licenses for more information.
It is vitally important that you properly attribute a Creative Commons work, because not doing so voids the license. In other words, if you don't attribute properly, you're infringing. What you need to do is:
If you are creating an open educational resource, or would simply like to put your article, story, movie, or other copyrighted content out there for people to use freely, you can put it under a Creative Commons license.
First, you need to make sure you are within your legal rights to put an open license on your work. Check that:
Once you've made sure you have the right to give your work an open license, it is a very simple process. Go to Creative Commons: Choose A License, complete the form and follow the instructions.
No. Once you have put your work under a Creative Commons license, you can't take it back. You can stop distributing the work and take it down off the Web; however, you can't stop others from continuing to share their copies and derivative works.
There are repositories of open content. We maintain links to many of them, including:
Another way to find content licensed under the Creative Commons is to use CC Search. It has multiple tools for searching for open content in the form of text, audiovisual and image resources.
ORCID is the system of unique digital identifiers for researcher-authors in the Open Access system. Your ORCID links you to your publications, grants, institution and association affiliations, etc. It works across platforms and increases the probability of someone who learns your name finding your whole body of work. Once you've set it up, sharing your ORCID is like sharing your CV, except that it includes that and more, and also dynamically updates.
ORCID is not just for Open Access authors, but it becomes mandatory for submitting your work to many repositories. (It is not mandatory for our repository, but it is considered a Best Practice.)