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Open Educational Resources: Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a global nonprofit organization that enables sharing and reuse of creativity and knowledge through the provision of free legal tools.

Creative Commons licenses are copyright licenses, and depend on the existence of copyright to work.

Creative Commons licenses are legal tools that creators and other rights holders can use to offer certain usage rights to the public, while reserving other rights. Those who want to make their work available to the public for limited kinds of uses while preserving their copyright may want to consider using Creative Commons licenses. Others who want to reserve all of their rights under copyright law should not use Creative Commons licenses.

(Source: Creative Commons FAQ)

How do I find openly licensed material?

Openly licensed material can be found in abundance on the web:

  • Explore the "Other useful resources" tab above
  • Or start with CC Search


Types of licenses

Creative Commons licenses freedom scale

Image credit: "How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos" by Foter via University of British Columbia, used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.

Want to adopt this guide?

Creative Commons License
Oakland Community College Library Research Guide on Open Educational Resources by OCC Librarians is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on a work at and

Guide Editor: Wendy Kamps-Tsao

OCC is committed to empowering our students to succeed and advancing our community.
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