CC BY license implementation deep dive: Resources

CC BY license requirement

The CC BY license requirement is clearly noted on p. 21 of the TAACCCT Round One SGA located at

“In order to further the goal of career training and education and encourage innovation in the development of new learning materials, as a condition of the receipt of a Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant (“Grant”), the Grantee will be required to license to the public (not including the Federal Government) all work created with the support of the grant (“Work”) under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (“License”). This License allows subsequent users to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the copyrighted work and requires such users to attribute the work in the manner specified by the Grantee. Notice of the License shall be affixed to the Work. For more information on this License, please visit”

The CC BY license requirement only applies to work that is developed by the grantee with grant funds, as noted in the U.S. DOL’s Copyright Materials Clarification at

“Only work that is developed by the grantee with grant funds is required to be licensed under the Creative Commons license. Pre-existing copyrighted materials licensed or purchased by the grantee are subject to the intellectual property rights the grantee receives under the terms of the particular license or purchase. Additionally, works created by the grantee without grant funds do not fall under the Creative Commons license requirement.”

The CC BY license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. To read the full commons deed and access the legal code, visit

License metadata

The CC BY license, like all CC licenses, incorporates a unique and innovative “three-layer” design. The license begins as a traditional legal tool, with the second layer in a format that normal people can read, with the final layer being a “machine readable” version of the license that software systems, search engines, and other kinds of technology can understand. Read more about the three-layer design at

The third and machine-readable layer of the license is also known as metadata. When properly marked with metadata, CC-licensed work can be discovered by search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!

Our license chooser tool makes it easy for you to copy and paste the metadata directly into your webpage:

To see how the metadata works and how external search services can find CC-licensed resources, visit our search portal at

Publishing on external platforms

You can choose to share your materials on the web in a variety of places. However, some platforms have already enabled CC license options, which means that they have taken care of the machine-readable metadata marking for you. All you have to do is upload your materials to the platform of your choosing according to the type of media you would like to share. For detailed tutorials on some of the most popular CC sharing platforms, visit

If you prefer to share your materials as a comprehensive package, such as a textbook, you may be interested in using Connexions — a platform specifically designed for sharing open educational resources (OER) under the CC BY license: All material on the platform is under the CC BY license by default.

Marking on your website

If you choose to share your materials on your own website, or on a website that has not enabled CC license options, then you will have to manually mark the CC BY license. Luckily, Creative Commons has developed some tips, examples, and best practices on CC licensing marking at

To see visual examples of poor and better marking, see the Slideshare presentation from the OPEN Kick-off session on “CC BY license implementation deep dive: step by step.”

Finding existing open educational resources (OER)

As mentioned above, the machine-readable version of the CC license allows others to find your work via CC-enabled search services. You can also use these services to find open educational resources to incorporate into your own project.

Here are some places to start:

Incorporating OER into your course collections: Best Practices

Just as there are best practices around marking the CC BY license on the work you create, best practices also exist around giving credit to the authors of works you use and build on. For best practices around marking the CC license and giving attribution, see

To see visual examples of poor and better marking as a user of CC-licensed works, see the Slideshare presentation from the OPEN Kick-off session on “CC BY license implementation deep dive: step by step.”