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Open Educational Resources (OER) @ SDSU for Faculty

Creative Commons Licenses and OER

Creative Commons Licenses

OER is usually governed by Creative Commons licenses that enable users to download, customize or print these resources without expressed written consent of the author.

License Conditions

Creators choose a set of conditions they wish to apply to their work. The list below is from the Creative Commons site, and is in descending order from most accommodating to least accomodating.

Attribution Attribution (by)

All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

ShareAlike ShareAlike (sa)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms. If they want to distribute modified works under other terms, they must get your permission first.

NonCommercial NonCommercial (nc)

You let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and (unless you have chosen NoDerivatives) modify and use your work for any purpose other than commercially unless they get your permission first.

NoDerivatives NoDerivatives (nd)

You let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. If they want to modify your work, they must get your permission first.

Open Attribution Builder

Many Creative Commons licenses require attribution to be added to products derived from the original source.  The attribution builder below makes configuring an attribution to comply with a CC license easy!

Eudcational Fair Use for NC materials

An Introduction to Fair Use

The Fair Use Doctrine allows for using portions of copyrighted works for certain educational but does not give specific parameters. This can be problematic and confusing. How do you know what falls under "Fair Use" and was does not? 

There are four factors of Fair Use and they are outlined in Section 107 of the Copyright Law: 

  1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
  2. the nature of the copyrighted work
  3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
  4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work

The American Library Association has a “Fair Use” Calculator that will walk you through a Fair Use evaluation: Most instances of educational use will fall under Fair Use, but using something in your classroom alone does NOT automatically give you permission to copy and distribute other people's work. You should carefully consider each time you are reproducing copyrighted material to show in your class, to hand out copies, to include in your writing, or to post on Blackboard/Canvas Courses.

Things to consider for factor 1: Purpose

Favoring Fair Use: when the material is used for the purpose of teaching, research, and scholarship in a nonprofit educational setting.
Opposing Fair Use: when material is used for entertainment, commercial activity, or deny credit to the original author.

Things to consider for factor 2: Nature

Favoring Fair Use: when the material is fact-based (like data), nonfiction, and important to favored educational objectives.

Opposing Fair Use: when the material is an unpublished work, or a highly creative work such as art, music, or a work of fiction.

Things to consider for factor 3: Amount

Favoring Fair Use: when the amount used is small, the portion used is not central to the entire work, and the amount is appropriate for favored educational purposes.
Opposing Fair Use: would involve using large portions, the entirety of the work, or the heart of the work. Make sure you are using only what you need, and that you are properly crediting the author or creator. Model appropriate citation behavior for your students.  

Things to consider for factor 4: Effect

Favoring Fair Use: when only a few copies are made, the user owns a lawfully purchased copy, and there is no significant effect on the market for the copyrighted worked.

Opposing Fair Use: when the use of the material could replace sales of the copyrighted work, numerous copies are made, or there is repeated or long-term use of the material. What is the fiscal effect of your use of the material on the copyright holder?
When in doubt, link out! But make sure you are linking to a reputable source! The permalinks from library databases are reputable sources.

Adapted from CSUSM

Common Fair Use Mistakes

Downloading article PDFs from library databases and uploading the PDFs to your Blackboard/Canvas Course

This would be a violation of the library's license agreement with our database providers. Library license agreements allow for individual use (download/print), and in some cases allow for multiple copies for class use (usually 25-35 copies).

What should you do instead?

You can put a permalink to any article from a database into a Learning Management System unless specifically prohibited.  For example, Harvard Business Review Case Studies carries an explicit statement at the end of each case study that requires copies be purchased for class use, and disallows permalinking from a Learning Management System.

What is a permalink? It is a permanent hyperlink to a specific article or ebook. Many databases use dynamic links that are session depenant, so copying the link in your brower may lead your students to a session timed out page instead of to the resource.  If you can't find how to generate a permalink within the article record, contact the Electronic Resources Librarian and she can help you generate permalinks.

Scanning a portion or an entire textbook and then uploading it to Blackboard/Canvas

If the book is in copyright this would be a violation of Fair Use.

What should you do instead?

Faculty who wish to have a digital book available for course use should consult with the library to ensure that an unlimited use license ebook can be purchased. If a copyrighted print book is not available digitally contact Montezuma Publishing to see if they can negotiate permission to make a digital copy available.