Creative Commons Licensing

Creative commons (CC) are a set of open licences, which allow you to tag your work for reuse under certain conditions.

The Manufacturing Pasts project is committed to releasing digitised content and open educational resources under an open licence.   We therefore intend to use a CC licence, though exactly what type has yet to be decided.

At our recent project group meeting we were all agreed that at the very least we would require attribution (BY), so we will certainly be using that component.  Another straightforward decision was to not use the No Derivatives (ND) component, as we want our resources to be reusable and included in other packages.

The debate regarding whether to permit commercial use of a work is wide ranging[1] but, from personal experience, rights holders are more likely to permit re-use of their work under a CC licence if it can only be used for non-commercial (NC) purposes.  I would therefore suggest a CC-BY-NC licence.  It is worth noting that if people specifically want to use one of your works for commercial purposes, you can waive this requirement (providing you have the agreement of the relevant rights holders) in individual cases.

There is also a decision to be made as to whether to add the Share-Alike (SA) option (this allows others to distribute derivative works only under a licence identical to that governing your work[2]).  Although the SA option on the surface would ensure greater dissemination of our works, the option can also pose a problem with potential users.  They may not be willing or able (due to institutional policies, or limitations on the use of other third party works) to make their final output available under a SA licence.  As a result they may decide not to use re-use our works.

Finally, we have to decide whether to use a ported (country specific in terms of the legal requirements), or unported licence.  The difficulty, as I understand it, is that as ported licences are country specific, their terms are not always well understood by users from other countries.  Unported licences are more internationally transferable.

My recommendation would therefore be to use a Creative Commons, Attribution, Non-Commercial unported Licence (CC BY-NC), version 3.0.

[2] Adapted from



Project Group Meeting

The Manufacturing Pasts project officially kicked off with a Project Group meeting on 4th November, where we outlined the plans, expectations and desired outcome for the next 14th months.

I’ll let the team introduce themselves in due course, as Project Manager I thought I had better start off.  My name is Tania Rowlett, and I usually work in the David Wilson Library as the University’s Copyright and Course Packs Administrator, so my skills should come in handy in this project!

I recently attended JISCs Digitisation Programme Meeting in Oxford, which was a great opportunity to meet people from all the other projects JISC have kindly funded as part of the JISC content programme 2011-2013.  After an evening get together on the 14th the following day was jam packed with useful information and presentations from Alistair Dunning and Paola Marchionni, JISC’s Programme Managers.

I found it incredibly helpful to hear from Alistair about the lessons learnt from previous projects and programmes, as although I have now been part of three Open Educational Resource (OER) projects here at the University (OTTER, OSTRICH and TIGER), it was great to get some pointers of what we should be doing (good planning), and what to try and avoid (leaving usability testing until near the end of the project).

Of particular interest was Naomi Korn’s session on Copyright and Licensing.  I have heard Naomi speak a number of times as we share the same fields, but it was so useful to hear from her again, especially when she introduced us to some resources I wasn’t aware of, such as the Orphan Works and Risk Management learning object, which will come in rather handy I suspect.

Alistair’s session on Learning to Love Risk, and guidance in calculating risk, also struck a chord, as I must confess I am naturally a risk adverse person.  Whilst this holds me in fairly good stead in my main job, I suspect we will be dealing with a lot of orphan works in this project, and usually there is no straightforward answer to whether items are ‘safe’ to use.  On this subject, I think one of my first jobs, when I start officially on the 4th December, will be draft a web disclaimer and takedown policy.  Although I shall try to avoid doing anything which might infringe the rights of others, it is better to safe than sorry!!

The project team welcome your interest in Manufacturing Pasts, so please feel free to comment on the blog or contact us for more information, otherwise keep checking back for update as to how we are progressing!

Links to some of the presentation slides are available below:

Lessons Learnt

Being a Good Data Provider

Learn to Love Risk – Risk Management

Great expectations

Slicing the evaluation cake

Getting started

The project began formally on 1 November 2011.

We are now putting the staffing arrangements in place and had our first project meeting on 4 November.

The project manager, Tania Rowlett, will be in post from 1 December.

Colleagues from the Centre for Urban History, the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland and the University of Leicester Library will now begin to select the primary historical resources that will be digitized from the Library’s Special Collections and the Record Office.

These will form the basis of the Open Educational Resources to be created later in the project.