Both the Non-Commercial (NC) restriction of the Creative Commons licenses and the Share-Alike (SA) condition of the licenses are poorly understood by many CC users. I’ll use my current context as a teacher educator to respond to these prompts, since it will help me clarify and communicate this information to colleagues and students.
- How would explain the issues with NC to a person choosing to use a CC license for the first time?
Creative Commons licensing that designates works as non-commercial means that anyone using those materials cannot make ANY money for the reuse or reprinting of that content. As a teacher educator, employed in a higher education institution, I need to consider possible scenarios where money could be made using course materials I create that includes items designated with an NC license. For example:
- I can use NC licensed materials in my course content, only if I am not making any money from this work (not including the remuneration I receive as an instructor).
- If I were to charge additional funds for these course materials or sell additional services from these materials, I could not use any items with an NC license designation.
- As an educator, I cannot make any money if I print OER materials for my students that contain NC licensed images or content. This must be done on a cost recovery basis only.
- If I am asked to present for a local organization, even for a few minutes, even if it’s done with remuneration in kind, I cannot use any materials or content, or anything I use for that purpose, that has an NC designation.
- If I will be making money on a publication or book chapter I create, I cannot use anything that has an NC license attached.
- How would you explain the way SA works to a person choosing to use a CC license for the first time?
The share-alike (SA) Creative Commons license designation is a way to say to others – this is my work, I’m sharing it with you, if you use it, you need to share it too! This is a way to ensure your work as an author, artist, creator, is also shared by others who may use your works in a remix or revision. When SA is present on a shared work, those who use that image, icon, music clip or creation are required to also share their version of what they’ve created with your material. This ensures a sustainable, sharing culture and enriches your credibility as a creator, in that your original work is attributed in each new version.
As a teacher educator, I can revise and remix materials that are SA, and share them openly, with attribution, as part of my course materials. If these materials are published openly on a course site, then your works, as the original creator, are forever linked to my remixed revisions. If these remixes are posted to an LMS site (learning management site) for student use, I need to also consider posting to an open URL location (blog, website, Instagram, Flickr, etc.) in order to ensure that I am honouring the spirit and intention of the CC SA license. It’s a provocation to share-alike, but one that cannot be denied, since it’s a layer over your rights as the copyright holder.