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Applying a licence to your work

There is no registration required to license your work. All you need to do is select a Creative Commons licence and then display the licence information on your work.

We look at:

  • Which licence should I choose?
  • How do I display the licence in my materials?

Which licence should I choose?

Hopefully, the Creative Commons licences section, was useful in helping you select an appropriate Creative Commons licence or waiver for your work.

If you would still like some guidance, the Creative Commons licence chooser asks you to answer a few key questions about permitted uses of your materials, and then provides guidelines on which licence would be most applicable. If your work contains third party (i.e. not created by you) content then the Creative Commons licence compatibility wizard can assist in providing guidance on the most suitable licence to be used.

The Copyright clearance section provides detailed information about how to clear your existing work for third-party copyrighted material, including how to attribute (i.e. reference or give credit for) someone else’s Creative Commons-licensed work.

How do I display the licence on my material?

Once you select a licence, the next step is to display this licence on your material. Doing this ensures that people who wish to use your material know how they can do this by easily following the terms specified in your selected licence.

Regardless of the medium in which the material appears, the following licence information is required:

  • CC licence name with a link to the appropriate licence text.
  • CC logo.
  • The name of the copyright holder.
  • The name of the author (this may be different from the copyright holder), the year, and the title of the resource.

You may wish to add information on how you wish to be attributed.

For example:

Image from Al Jazeera, used under a CC BY licence.

Though not required by the licence, it is recommended electronic publishing practice that you also include the following information:

  • Institutional branding or logo.
  • General contact person (e.g. oer@university.ac.za).
  • Acknowledgements of those who contributed (funders, collaborators).
  • Necessary disclaimers (e.g. medical content, recording of students, patients or actors).
  • If the work is published on the internet, you may also want to include the URL for the resource.

For web pages/HTML/CD resources

At a minimum, the licence should appear on the main page; preferably it will appear on each page, such as in a footer.

For example:


For documents (text documents, presentation slides, spreadsheets etc.)

The licence information should appear somewhere in the document, preferably on the first, final or imprint page (i.e. reverse side of a document’s title page that lists such information as the publisher’s imprint, publication date and history, licensing, ISBN etc.).

Here is an example of a licence on a final page:


Here is an example of a licence on an imprint page:


If it is a large document, it is recommended that attribution information be placed on every page. This is because there is a chance that the document may be cut up into smaller segments as it is distributed in the form of sections or chapters.

The information that appears on the title page can also be included in the header/footer on every page of the resource. Usually, the following information appears:

  • The CC BY licence used, with a hyperlink or the icon for the licence.
  • The name of the author.
  • The institutional logo.
  • The title of the resource.
  • The chapter/module name or number.

An example of a header:


An example of a footer:

For videos

Include a ‘video bumper’ or a still picture with the licence information at the start or end of the video.

For example:

For audio resources

When introducing the resource, read into the script the details of attribution and licensing. If the audio files are located on the internet include the attribution and licence details with a description/link to the resource.

For example: