Copyright Guidance and Resources

If you are considering creating Open Educational Resources, you might find the following websites of use for guidance and sources of open access material:


  • JISClegal  provide a variety of presentations and webcasts on legal matters, as well as a monthly newsletter, regular publications (including the Web 2.0 Legal Toolkit) and an advice service.
  • Web2Rights is a JISC funded project which provides good diagnostic tools and flowcharts to help you make decisions about copyrighted content you may wish to use in your materials.
  • JISCdigitalmedia  provide advice and training on the use of still and moving images, audio content and other area such as music, animation and video.  Of particular mention is their guide to finding image on Flickr (
  • Eduserv’s Copyright Toolkit (produced in conjunction with Copy-Right Consultants Limited) gives a good introduction to copyright for the inexperienced user via exercises and basic guidelines.
  • is a site which assists you in locating open and reusable content, and also allows you to create and use/embed the open licence of your choice (subject to the options they provide) in your materials.  It also explains the origins and purpose of the creative commons licences. 
  • GNU Operating System provide licences which are sometimes used as an alternative to those provided by Creative Commons, but is more generally concerned with free software, even providing a directory.
  • UNESCO have also created a specific OER Toolkit, which gives you a background to Open Educational Resources, the issue of copyright in relation to OERs, as well as sites to search for OERs.
  • The Open University provides guidance on creating open educational resources and contains a section on copyright and OERs.

Sites providing open, re-usable materials:

  • Jorum  provides access to free learning and teaching resources from UK Further and Higher Education Institutions. It has two collections - JorumOpen and JorumUK, containing a wide variety of resources, including open educational resources that are freely available to all.  It also has a handy two page guide to open licensing
  • Flickr is a photo sharing site, which allows you to search only for Creative Commons licensed content, content which can be commercially used, and content with is re-usable. 
  • Google advanced search allows you to search for content via a variety of usage rights, whereas Yahoo allows you to specifically search for type of Creative Commons content.
  • Connexions provides access to units of material, available on a Creative Commons licence, listed by subject area, as does OER Commons, and the Open Learning Initiative.
  • The Freesound Project  is a collaborative database of Creative Commons sounds.

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Contact OTTER

Please contact Project Coordinator Gabi Witthaus for further information:

Direct line: +44 (0) 116 252 5745
Fax: + 44 (0) 116 252 5725


The OTTER project is funded by the Higher Education Academy and JISC.

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