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Open Source Materials

Copyright is a collection of rights - the right to reproduce the work, to make copies, to make derivative works, and so forth.
 Many people have decided that they want to release some of their rights. They might want to make their work available to other people to copy, for example, without asking permission. 
One way to do this is to put a Creative Commons license on the material.
A Creative Commons license lists the rights that the author wishes to reserve, and the ones they are releasing.  

 For example, one author might wish to allow others to freely make copies of their work, and to modify it (make a derivative work), as long as they 1) acknowledge the original author, and 2) do not sell the original work.  This would be an Attribution, Non-commercial Creative Commons license. 
Another author might want to make their work freely available for copying and modifying, but require that the resulting work also have a Creative Commons license.  This would be a Creative Commons share-alike license.

For more information on the many types of Creative Commons licenses, go to To view a video on creating a Creative Commons license, go to this You Tube demo of how to search Creative Commons.

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updated: 8/15/11