Publish OER Under an Appropriate Licence
Make sure that you do not take over any third party, copyright-protected content and integrate it into your Open Educational Resources (OER). Only use material you have created yourself or marked with appropriate open licences. Information on copyright in Germany can be found on the page “Understanding and correctly applying copyright” of the University of Konstanz.
Clearly label (licence/citation) adopted external content (such as scientific texts, quotations and images) and open up your own OER with appropriate licensing. Select the appropriate Creative Commons (CC) licence or another open licence and include it visibly in your OER. As the author, you can put your OER online with or without minor restrictions and decide for yourself which rights of use you grant to others.
Several helpful tools will help you choose the correct licence for OER:
- Creative Commons License Chooser.
- With the licence reference generator from Wikimedia Deutschland or its successor Picsome (which aims to make the functionalities usable for images from other repositories), images from Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons can very easily be provided with the correct licence text.
- The Bildungsteiler (education sharer) (German) from OERhörnchen helps to create a Creative Commons licence notice for sharing OER.
- The URL check by OERhörnchen (German) checks whether a website contains machine-readable licence information. This allows you to check whether your own educational resource meets this requirement for an OER.
- The CC Mixer is useful if you want to use content under CC licence from other authors in your own work and publish it again, as it checks whether the licence of the source material is compatible with the licence you want to grant yourself.
For correct labelling of the licence directly on the OER, it is best to use the TULLU rule. It ensures a complete indication of origin. Now you only need to place the appropriate licence on your educational resource: Creative Commons offers the icons for download. Either attach the icon (for instance “CC BY”) together with a reference to the licence version (like “CC 4.0”) to your material or state it in writing (like “CC BY 4.0”). Also, link to the long version of the licence text.
You can find further information and guidance on licensing OER here:
- Worksheet 17 “Open educational content” from the worksheet series of the ZBW’s Open Science Magazine
- Five tips for good OER licensing (German) is an article at iRightsinfo.
- Use learning material under Creative Commons: Frequently asked questions and answers (German) is a FAQ article at iRightsinfo.
- OER & Law Checklist (German) is an overview by OERinform.
Tip: It is advisable to take a screenshot of the online location of the OER to protect yourself in the event of any legal disputes, for example if someone publishes photos without permission. In case of doubt, the reverse image search on Google can also be helpful. You can find more information on Google on the page “Search with an image on Google“.