What is Creative Commons?
New technologies have made it easier than ever to create intellectual property such as photos, written works, videos, and software. Copyright law makes it difficult for people to let others know that they are willing to let others use their materials.
This is where Creative Commons comes in. Creative Commons Licenses allow people to retain the copyright of their intellectual property while also specifying that those materials can be used under certain conditions. For example, if you would like your photos to be used and altered by anyone as long as they give you credit, there is a Creative Commons license for that.
Using Creative Commons Materials
About one third of Penn State students are posting videos online, often after they are remixed with music, pictures, and video clips that were created by other people. These “mashups” may violate copyright law or they may be acceptable within the provisions of fair use.
Being able to incorporate music, spoken audio, video or images licensed by Creative Commons not only helps students create legal video projects, but facilitates any project where multimedia components may be included.
Video on the Benefits of Creative Commons
In this video, Ryan gets a visit from his future self and they talk about options for adding music to a class project. After all, some day Ryan may want to add that project to his portfolio so potential employers can see his creative side. One viable option is music that has a Creative Commons license.
Where to Find Creative Commons Licensed Materials
You can find out more about Creative Commons by visiting their Web site. Also Penn State’s Media Commons group has put together a Free Media Resource Page (http://mediacommons.psu.edu/freemedia) that has links to a several places to get a variety of media files that can be mashed up and used for educational projects.
Creative Commons License Generator
Penn State faculty who would like to share their course materials, research materials, and other intellectual property may do so using a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
This license allows you to specify how you would like other to use your materials without the need to ask your permission. For example, photographs licensed with a “Attribution, Share-Alike” license, can be used and modified by other people as long as they state where the photos came from and agree to share any derivative works. To make your own license, use the Creative Commons License Generator.