Creative Commons: your science communication friend

Want to use other people’s stuff in your video, podcast, presentation, or other communications thing? Look for Creative Commons-licensed material.

If you’re a scientist communicating your science, you’ll probably be creating things to help with that: a presentation, a poster, a video, a podcast, etc. But in that video, poster, presentation, etc., what happens if you really need to incorporate material that was created by someone else? For example, you might really like to include someone’s else image in your presentation or another’s recording in your video.

Unfortunately, the rules of traditional copyright heavily frown upon just using someone else’s stuff without permission. Lucky for you though, there is a class of copyright license – called Creative Commons – which encourages reuse and remixing of content. Even better, there is an unending supply of Creative Commons-licensed material just waiting for you to use. Images, audio, video – you name it, Creative Commons has got your back.

There are a ton of storehouses of Creative Commons-licensed stuff, but here are just a few to get you started:

Creative Commons licenses come in a few different flavors, which vary in the latitude they provide for reuse.  SciFund Challenge has a lot more to say about those licenses in our Video for Scientists class. Here’s the relevant section of the class material.