Open Education Info Center

Administrator: Legal Issues in Open Education

If your institution is considering an open education initiative, you want to make sure that all open education practices are legally sound. This section outlines very basics of open licenses.

What are some of the issues I need to consider when adopting OERs in classrooms?

You can start with an introductory piece by JISC here: Legal aspects in OER.

What are the terms of use for using OER or open textbooks?

These materials use an open license called Creative Commons. It allows users to use, reuse, revise, remix, and redistribute. Creative Commons has four types of use: CC Attribution, CC Non-Commercial, CC No-derivative, and CC Share-alike. Combination of these four terms determine how “open” the terms are. Please refer to this page on how to use the license.

It’s the law to make all learning materials comply with accessibility. Is there a guideline for accessibility in creating OERs?

BC Open Textbook Accessibility Toolkit offers some guidelines on Universal Design. If you are creating videos, you need to add captions.. Here are some other general facts for accessibility considerations.

Who should take care of intellectual property issues? Do we need a staff dedicated to it?

Not all institutions can afford an office or an expert to clear IP issues in open educational practices, and it is best that faculty and students are trained to deal with the issues. Both faculty and students should learn about license issues in creating and using OER.