Open Educational Content/olcos/CHOOSE a license

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Tutorial: CHOOSE a license


This tutorial provides information and practical tasks for:

  • choosing a Creative Commons license;
  • including it in the learning material.

The tutorial will take about 20 minutes. For that, internet access is needed.



In this tutorial, we assist some teachers to choose a Creative Common license.

Please remark, that this tutorial based on the information of the Creative Commons Organizations (state 2006-11-06)

Why choosing a license?

In contrast to the U.S., in the European Union a Public Domain is unknown. This relinquishment of the intellectual property rights in favour to the public is not possible in European countries like Austria or Germany. That means for the E.U. that, before using, copying, modifying learning materials created by someone else, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner and enter into a contract with them.

With an open content licensing, one could profit about:

Suggestions and tips for decisions about special features

First of all, we recommend to choose a popular license to profit about

Remember, that you can allways place an individual contract, e.g. for allowing commercial use, to vary from the license text!

Decisions for choosing a license

"Offering your work under a Creative Commons license does not mean giving up your copyright. It means offering some of your rights to any member of the public but only on certain conditions." (Creative commons Homepage 2006-11-07)

To choose a sufficient license the teacher have to decide, if he/she want to allow commercial uses and modification of his/her work.

Eleven combinations of these options are possible!


Now try it out, open the Creative Commons Website and choose a license.

When you've made your choices, you'll get the appropriate license expressed in three ways:


Please assist Tom, Susan, Peter and Dolores to choose a fitting license. Which license version do you recommend each of them?
  • Tom wants to start a wiki for the collaborative creation of learning materials about Hypatia of Alexandria.
  • Susan wants to publish her lecturer notes.
  • Peter creates open content with his learning management system.
  • Dolores, a statistic teacher wants to install a repository system.

Including a Creative Commons License

You should then include a Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved" button on your site, near your work. This button will link back to the Commons Deed, so that the world can be notified of the license terms. If you find that your license is being violated, you may have grounds to sue under copyright infringement.

Including a creative Commons License is very easy. After your decision for a special license, just mark the code, copy it (e.g. with the key combination CTRL and C, on a Mac Command and C) and paste it in

... your webpage or website:

For that, you have to open your .html page in the code view (which means, with all the html-tags like <p></p>) and insert it (e.g. with the key combination CTRL and V, on a Mac Command and V). Please note, that you should it insert before you see </body></html>!

... by registration in a repository:

For that, you have to insert the code in the field "copyright" (e.g. with the key combination CTRL and V, on a Mac Command and V).

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