LIDA103 Creative Commons for remixing OER

Hi! I have some questions regarding the use of Creative Commons licenses in the OER creation and remixing. I have looked for the answer in the FAQ section at and I could find a clear answer.

I’m creating an educational lesson for my students, a 20 page document with my own texts and pictures. I will license my work with CC BY-SA. Will it be considered a remix if I include one picture with illustrative aim in this material (indicating author, source and license)? The image will not suffer any modification, it is only included inside a larger work, and only for illustration (not significant picture). Is it considered a remix? Will it depende on how significant the picture is in the whole material? In case it is a remix, I could only use PD, BY or BY-SA pictures. So, no BY-NC-SA or BY-ND may be included. Some doubts came to my mind when I read this article, as I understand the by-SA license applies only to the work I am creating, not to the other parts I include.

Other questions regarding OER creation:

  • Is Pixabay license ( compatible with CC BY-SA? I have a lot of doubts about this: It doesn’t require attribution, but it doesn’t allow selling, for example. May I use Pixabay pictures to illustrate an OER (an educational material)? Is it a good practice?
  • May I use copyright material under one copyright exception if I’m going to publish it as an OER? Is it a good practice?
  • May I embed a YouTube video with YouTube standard license in an OER? (embed, not file inserted, the video is hosted in Youtube platform). Is it a good practice?

Thanks a lot!!

Greetings @cvaldera

Good questions illustrating the real world of OER remix.

The use of the picture in this context would not constitute a remix as long as you:

  • Don’t modify the image in any way
  • Adhere to the licensing requirements of the image with proper attribution.

So, for example, you can incorporate a CC-BY-NC image (properly attributed) and license your work under CC-BY-SA.

Even though there are no attribution requirements, the Pixabay license is a custom all rights reserved license. It is possible to use Pixabay images commercially, but there are certain restrictions, for example you cannot sell an exact copy of a Pixabay image.

Personally, as an OER advocate, I prefer not using Pixabay images in my work because it is not a free cultural works approved license. In the event that you use Pixabay images, I recommend proper attribution with a link to the source (even though this is not legally required.) In this way, downstream users of your work will be aware of the image restrictions.

Yes, you can include copyrighted material in OER as long as it qualifies for exemption under your national copyright act, for example quoting and citing published research.

Yes, you can embed a Youtube video published under the standard Youtube license as long as it is played using the approved Youtube player (because Google wants to track usage and it is a requirement of their terms of service.) Where possible, try to find Youtube (or other videos) that are openly licensed.

Good luck with your studies!


These answers were really useful for me as well.

Yes as much as it is done by approved YouTube player