How to Attribute a CC Licensed Work


(Image by Stephen Baum available under a GNU FDL 1.2 license)

Molly Kleinman, Library Copyright Specialist here at the University of Michigan, has a timely post on her blog about effectively citing Creative Commons licensed work (see yesterday’s post on the Court of Appeals ruling). Anyone who uses CC licensed work downloaded from sites like Flickr, Wikimedia Commons, or HEAL knows how difficult it can be to ensure you gather and, subsequently, provide the proper attribution to the creator.  What format is appropriate? What information do I need to include?  Molly provides a few examples of how best to cite resources, also reminding us that:

“There is no standard way to format the attribution of a CC-licensed work, and you can adapt the style or phrasing to suit your needs or the standard citation style of your discipline.”

Good. I think we have a pretty good style here.  😉

Model Railroads, Creative Commons, Open Source Software, and the U.S. Court of Appeals

Not the US Court of Appeals, but close.

(Photo: CC:by-nc-nd)

At long last, members of the Open Source Software movement, supporters of Creative Commons, and model railroad hobbyists the world over all have yet another great reason to put on party hats and celebrate together. Yesterday, The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided on the Robert Jacobsen v. Matthew Katzer case, affirming “the ability of a copyright holder to dedicate certain work to free public use and yet enforce an ‘open source’ copyright license to control the future distribution and modification of that work” (From Jacobsen v. Katzer Ruling). And just because it’s great to see a Judge get it, I have to include this part of the ruling:

“The attribution and modification transparency requirements directly serve to drive traffic to the open source incubation page and to inform downstream users of the project, which is a significant economic goal of the copyright holder that the law will enforce. Through this controlled spread of information, the copyright holder gains creative collaborators to the open source project; by requiring that changes made by downstream users be visible to the copyright holder and others, the copyright holder learns about the uses for his software and gains others’ knowledge that can be used to advance future software releases” (From Jacobsen v. Katzer Ruling).

Read more about it in the New York Times, Fred Benenson’s Blog, Lawrence Lessig’s Blog, and on Gizmodo.

Also, notably, MIT OCW gets a nod in the ruling (via Anthony Falzone‘s amici curiae) for the use of Creative Commons licensing on its openly available 1800 OCW courses. Definitely good for the Open CourseWare and Open Educational Resources movement.

The Ultimate Guide to Using OpenCourseware

CC: BY-NC-SA  (BY: applejan (flickr))

(BY: applejan (flickr) CC:BY-NC-SA)

Late last week, I started a section on the Open.Michigan wiki called “Interesting Projects, Organizations, and Institutions“.  The purpose: to compile and share many of the, well, projects, organizations, and institutions that are of interest to our OER project and U-M Open initiative.

Then, it just so happens that Friday afternoon, Timothy Vollmer sent me a link to a page compiled by Christina Laun called “The Ultimate Guide to Using Open Courseware: 70+ Apps, Search Engines and Resources for Free Learning“.  From the article:

“While you can’t get college credit for taking open courseware classes, you can make the most of the information and education they offer both in personal and professional aspects of your life. After all, even if you’re not working towards a degree, taking the same courses as those in the ivy league can’t possibly hurt you and may even be able to better keep you informed and on the cutting edge of what’s going on in your field. So how can you make the most of these free online courses? Here are resources we’ve collected that can help you search for classes, find information and learn everything you need to know about how open courseware works.”

Because it’s a great resource and something will save us a great deal of time in continuing to share with others what has and does influence our thinking, Christina Laun is this week’s OER Champion of the Week.  Thanks!!