OER Glossary

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All Rights Reserved

Material that is limited in terms of its availability and use. In Canada, some use of all rights reserved copyright items is permitted under Fair Dealing.


The process of recognizing the source of borrowed materials, regardless of whether it is all rights reserved copyright or open licensed. To  create attribution under a CC license, you can use the Open Attribution Builder.



"A play on the word copyright to describe the practice of using copyright law to offer the right to distribute copies and modified versions of a work and requiring that the same rights be preserved in modified versions of the work." (UNESCO, 2013)



"Copyright is the exclusive legal right to produce, reproduce, publish or perform an original literary, artistic, dramatic or musical work. The creator is usually the copyright owner. However, an employer—for example, a film studio—may have copyright in works created by employees unless there is an agreement in place stating otherwise.

When you own the copyright in a work, you control how it is used in order to protect its value. Others who want to use the work have to buy or otherwise get your permission." (Canadian Intellectual Property Office, 2015)


Creative Common Licenses

There are six Creative Commons licenses as listed below in order of openness from most accommodating to least:
CC BY (Attribution): Other than crediting the source, there are no restrictions on the use and remixing of a work, even commercially.
CC BY-SA (ShareAlike): You can use or remix a work as long as you release your work under the same license as the source. You must also credit the source.
CC BY-ND (No Derivatives): Material cannot be changed but can be redistributed both commercially and non-commercially. You must attribute the original source.
CC BY-NC (Non Commercial): Material can be used and remixed but not used or distributed commercially. You must attribute the original source.
CC BY-NC-SA: You can use and remix material and use or distribute it non-commercially but you must use the same licensing terms (ShareAlike) as the original source. You must also attribute the original source.
CC BY-NC-ND: This is the most restrictive license because material cannot be altered or used commercially. You are allowed to download and share but you must credit the source.

Creative Commons

"A US non-profit organization. A Creative Commons license is one of several public copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. It can be used when authors want to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work they have created." (UNESCO, 2013)



Derivative work

This term is not typically used in Canada. In the United States the term refer to a new from of expression created from a pre-existing one; for example, a motion picture adapted from a book.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

Digital rights management (DRM) is a systematic approach to copyright protection for digital media. The purpose of DRM is to prevent unauthorized redistribution of digital media and restrict the ways consumers can copy content they've purchased.

What is digital rights management (DRM)? - Definition from WhatIs.com  searchcio.techtarget.com/definition/digital-rights-management



"eCampusAlberta is a consortium of 26 Alberta post-secondary institutions, which was established in 2002 to facilitate greater access to high-quality online learning opportunities." (eCampusAlberta, 2016)



Fair Dealing

Canadians are permitted to use limited sections of an all rights reserved copyright protected work as long as the use is considered "fair." For educational use, fair typically means following a set of guidelines; for example, many colleges and universities permit the copying of 10% of a book or a full chapter, one article from a journal etc. Check with your institution to see what your copyright policy is. You must still credit the source. 

Fair Use

The US-version closely related to Canada's Fair Dealing.

In its most general sense, a fair use is any copying of copyrighted material done for a limited and “transformative” purpose, such as to comment upon, criticize, or parody a copyrighted work. Such uses can be done without permission from the copyright owner.

What Is Fair Use? - Copyright Overview by Rich Stim - Stanford ... fairuse.stanford.edu/overview/fair-use/what-is-fair-use/


Massive Open Online Course

(MOOCs) are online courses aiming at large-scale participation and open access. They May use OER as content. (UNESCO, 2013)



"Moodle is a [Learning Management System], or learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments." (Moodle, 2016)



Open Courseware (OCW)

"publicly available materials that are either a part of, or a complete course from an educational institution such as a university or college." (UNESCO, 2013)


Open Educational Resources

"Open Educational Resources (OERs) are any type of educational materials that are in the public domain or introduced with an open license. The nature of these open materials means that anyone can legally and freely copy, use, adapt and re-share them. OERs range from textbooks to curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video and animation." (UNESCO, 2013)


Open Source

Refers to a program in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design. (UNESCO, 2013)



Public Domain

The public domain, in intellectual property (IP) law, is generally said to consist of intangible materials that are not subject to exclusive Intellectual Property rights and which are, therefore, freely available to be used or exploited by any person.

From World Intellectual Property Organization.  http://www.wipo.int/portal/en/


Some Rights Reserved

An item that is typically safe to use because it is released under a Creative Commons license. 



An acronym for Title, Author, License, Source, the key elements needed when creating attribution for an open resource.