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Copyright and Your Dissertation

Creative Commons Licensing

When using materials for your courses or even for academic research and publication, you may see work designated with at Creative Commons License.  What does it mean?

A creative commons license is a grant of permission from the author to the public (or a segment of the public) to use portions of work otherwise protected by copyright without first obtaining permission from the author (within certain established guidelines).

This may be a good way for educators, as well, to share their work freely if they wish to do so.  Just remember, though, that if you put a creative commons license on your work you are waiving copyright protections for the uses designated in the license.

The creative commons website contains a great description of the types of licenses.  Depending on the specification in the license, the user may be permitted to do only certain things with the work (for instance a CC-NC license designates that only non commercial uses are permitted).

The Creative Commons website is located at: