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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Adapted from Open educational resources (OER) Guide by UQ Library. We would like to thank UQ Library for letting us use their guide as a template.

Copyright for MOOCs and other open educational resources

Copyright protects the right of creators of works to determine how their works can be used.Copyright symbol

When using images, copyright may restrict:

  • reproduction
  • publication
  • adaptation

When sharing or modifying resources it is important not to infringe copyright.

Closed licences

Many materials used at JCU are purchased under restricted licences that only permit the use of these materials when teaching JCU staff and students.  Such materials include: Library subscription online journals and books, chapters of hardcopy books and articles, TV and radio programs, and many resources from the web. 

Creative Commons licence

As MOOCs are open, online courses delivered to a worldwide audience, it is important to know what copyright material to include. Works under Creative Commons licence allow you to copy, display and edit work for commercial or non-commercial purposes, as long as you attribute the creator and link to the source. Check that the resource has an appropriate Creative Commons licence (or similar) before using it. 

For MOOCs, try to use Creative Commons material with a BY or BY SA licence.  Both these licences permit commercial use.  So if the MOOC is later commercialised, it can keep this material. See our section on Creative Commons for more information on these licence types.

Using resources with permission

You will need to get written permission to use material if it DOESN'T have a suitable Creative Commons or similar licence.

  • Approach the copyright author/publisher and negotiate permission for non-commercial (or commercial) reuse of the material
  • Ensure you have permission to use it online
  • Keep a record of all communications

Alternative options

If it isn't possible to obtain permissions, or it is too costly or will take too long, consider:

  • Linking to Creative Commons licensed or openly available content, rather than copying.
  • Creating or using original material where copyright is owned by you.

We acknowledge the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the first inhabitants of the nation and acknowledge Traditional Owners of the lands where our staff and students, live, learn and work.Acknowledgement of Country

Creative Commons Licence
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA) 4.0 International License. Content from this Guide should be attributed to James Cook University Library. This does not apply to images, third party material (seek permission from the original owner) or any logos or insignia belonging to JCU or other bodies, which remain All Rights Reserved.