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Copyright for Creating Commercial Courses

Guidance for staff involved in designing and building courses with a commercial purpose, such as corporate education and training.

Creative Commons licences

Just because generally available online images or text can be copied and pasted into your content, it                 doesn't mean you have the legal right to do so. However, there are some licensing arrangements which can
offer resources for re-use.

Creative Commons (CC) licences are a type of open licence designed to promote sharing of copyright material with as few barriers to use and re-use as possible. They give clear instructions on how the copyright owner allows the material to be copied or re-used, without the need to seek direct permission. Material in open access journals and university institutional repositories are often made available through the use of a CC licence. There are a range of CC licences available to be used by copyright owners, some of which prohibit commercial use. If incorporating CC licensed materials in your course, you need to ensure that the particular licence under which it is issued does not have a 'non-commercial' (NC) element. That means you can use materials issued under the following CC licences:

  • CC BY
  • CC BY-SA
  • CC BY-ND
  • CC0

An explanation of the full range of CC licences available can be found here. When using material issued under a CC licence, always make sure you are adhering to the terms of the licence; for example in relation to:

  • giving appropriate credit;
  • providing a link to the licence;
  • indicating if changes were made; and
  • distributing any adaptations allowed under the same licence as the original (applicable only for licences with a 'share alike' SA element, such as CC BY-SA)

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