What Is Creative Commons?

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International Open Access Week is October 19-25. Portland State University Library joins this global event to celebrate, promote, and discuss open access, the movement to make scholarly content readily and freely available to the public. During the week, we’re taking the opportunity to highlight library services, resources, and promote webcasts and events on open access issues.

Today: Creative Commons
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You may have heard of Creative Commons before, and you may know that it’s somehow related to open access. But what exactly is the difference between the two? How are they related?

creative commons logoWhen you’ve heard of open access before, it was probably in relation to funding and/or the cost of creating and disseminating articles, books, and other scholarly works. Open access has a great deal to do with the skyrocketing prices of journals and books, but it also has to do with how creators license their copyrighted works. The open access movement supports the creation and licensing of work under more permissive license terms. Creative Commons is a licensing mechanism that allows authors to let others use, remix, and distribute their copyrighted works. Versions of Creative Commons licenses are used by many authors and publishers. (Look for examples in the Directory of Open Access Journals or the Directory of Open Access Books.

The video A Shared Culture is a great explanation of the ethos behind creative commons licensing.