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Reusing others’ work with Creative Commons licenses

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Open access does not mean the creator has surrendered their copyright, but some creators want to see what others do with their creations

While our ISU ReD repository primarily contains scholarly articles and some books, these aren’t the only material which can be made open access. Music, art, photographs, videos, and virtually any other format can be made more accessible by making it open access. Just because an item is open access does not mean the creator has surrendered their copyright, but some creators want to see what others do with their creations. These creators may choose to explicitly allow reuse of their materials in ways that might otherwise violate their copyright.

The Creative Commons organization provides free licenses which allow creators to let patrons know which rights they have reserved, and which ways their materials can be reused by other creators in new works. A simple, intuitive menu allows users to select a custom license based on whether and how they wish to allow others to share adaptions of their work, and whether they wish to allow commercial use. For works hosted on web pages, there is optional HTML code to insert the license into the web page. Users who wish to browse the licenses and see examples can also do so, and licenses are available in a wide variety of languages.

Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons Licenses, Markus Büsges, CC BY-SA 4.0

Creative Commons is best known for these copyright licenses; however, they do offer other services. A search engine which specifically searches images with Creative Commons licenses is available, the organization has a blog, offers a course about their licenses and other issues related to the public domain (https://certificates.creativecommons.org/), and hosts a yearly global summit to support their work.

Creators do not surrender any of their copyrights by placing an item on ISU ReD, unless they specifically declare otherwise. Anyone wishing to make their own materials digitally available can often place pre-prints or even published articles and materials on institutional repositories such as ISU ReD. If you wish to discuss these options further, for current or already published research, please contact isured@ilstu.edu.

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