This guide is intended to help faculty and students at Lane Community College learn about OER, re-purpose existing content, and create new resources to share. OER includes free textbooks, online tutorials, and open media that is free of cost or low cost.
Creative Commons Copyright is at the heart of the OER movement. CCC allows creators to specify more flexible forms of copyright that allows "others to copy, distribute, and make some uses of their work."
Look for copyright information (often at the bottom of webpages). Creative Commons copyrighted material sometimes display clickable icons that indicate the specifics of licensing.
In general, US Copyright Law prohibits unauthorized reproduction and distribution of copyrighted works. However, the "Fair Use Doctrine" (Section 107) allows a limited amount of copying for purposes such as teaching and scholarship. In determining whether the use made of a work in a particular case is a Fair Use, the factors to be considered include:
The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for non-profit educational purposes;
The nature of the copyrighted work;
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyright work as a whole; and
The effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
Fair Use raises almost as many questions as it answers, and is a real source of concern for teachers. The most important point to remember is that Fair Use is both a right and a privilege, and does provide a substantial degree of freedom and protection for teachers. However, that freedom is often challenged, and in reality most educational institutions do not have the resources, skill, or willpower to engage in long and expensive legal battles over this issue.
The Fair Use Checklistcan be helpful in determining whether or not usage falls under Fair Use.