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Creative Commons (CC) was developed to help share digital content, and has expanded into various open movements, including Open Educational Resources (OER). Creators can select and ascribe specific licenses for sharing their work according to the type(s) of sharing that they want to allow (see: chart below from SUNY Empire State College Library-Get Up to Speed with OER, or All CC licenses include “attribution” (BY).

creative commons license description

An attribution should (when possible) include: title of item, author, source, license, and relevant links. See examples here: in new window).

Public Domain (PD) creative works are not protected by intellectual property rights laws (like copyright, trademark, or patent laws). This could be because the license has expired, been forfeited, expressly waived, or may be inapplicable. For example, all works published in the United States before 1923 are in the PD. For more information about copyright see:

GNU (pronounced g’noo) is an operating system and collection of free software. Like CC, users have the ability to copy, distribute, research, change, and improve the software.