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Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines

A brief overview of Copyright, Fair Use, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the TEACH Act.

What are Creative Commons?

Some web sites are allowing their users to choose a Creative Commons license. This nonprofit organization offers a number of licenses which users can designate their own terms ranging form 'Some Rights Reserved' to public domain. Creative Commons-licensed materials are not all public domain, you will have to look closely to be sure.  

CC attributions vary, therefore you must read the summary of the license to understand how to use the image, texts, videos, music etc.

Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States Creative Commons license, which means if you use this as a reference, you must specify Tufts as the author as well as share what you create from their work in a similar way. This is not public domain but allows users to access content, adapt, and share it as well.

License Your Work

With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify here.

For those new to Creative Commons licensing, has prepared a list of things to think about. If you want to offer your work with no conditions, choose the public domain.

Licensing Options

>There are six licensing options:

Attribution:- This is the most liberal. Allows all types of uses as long they credit you for the original creation. - allows distribution, remixing, tweaking, and building up on your work. Allows commercial use.

The other 5 licenses increasingly add restrictions.

Attribution Share Alike:- Often compared to open source software licenses. The share alike means that uses are all available as with the one above but any derivatives would need to be licensed under the same terms.

Attribution No Derivatives: Still allows commercial use but no derivatives..

Attribution Non-Commercial: This takes the basic attribution license and just adds the non-commercial restriction

Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike: All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives: This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Find CC Licensed Works

Open Courseware

Open Courseware Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 200 higher education institutions & associated organizations (including Stanford, Tufts, MIT), worldwide creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model.

Project Merlot

Good site to find peer reviewed online teaching and learning materials, share advice and expertise about education with expert colleagues. Includes shared lesson plans, activities, interactive learning. See their pedagogic collection.

Open Access Communities

  • The Open Content Alliance (OCA) is a collaborative effort of a group of cultural, technology, nonprofit, and governmental organizations from around the world that helps build a permanent archive of multilingual digitized text and multimedia material.
  • Science Commons is the scientific channel within Creative Commons.
  • Connexions is an environment for collaboratively developing, freely sharing, and rapidly publishing scholarly content on the web. All content is CC licensed. Based at Rice University and supported by William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
  • PubMed Central provides access to many open access journals.
  • PubMed Central Journals - full list for coverage and search options.

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