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BMG 111 - Business Law

Use this guide for in-class activities on copyright and trademark law.

BMG 111 - Intellectual Property

Decorative ImageWhat's the difference?

  • Copyright

  • Creative Commons 

  • Public Domain


copyright symbolProtection granted by law for original works of authorship fixed in a tangible medium of expression.

  • Original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.
  • Right to reproduce, distribute, display and perform works and derivatives.
  • Does not protect facts, ideas, systems, or methods of operation (but it may protect an expression). 
  • Protects published or unpublished work automatically.

Source: U.S. Copyright Office

Creative Commons

  • A non-profit that developed the first open licenses in 2002. 
  • Gives permission for easy content ​sharing.

Public Domain

Public Domain Logo

Materials not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademarks, or patents. 

Materials enter Public Domain when:

  • Copyright has expired
  • Copyright owner failed to follow renewal rules.
  • Copyright owner published the work without copyright notice (pre-1989). 
  • Copyright owner places the work in the Public Domain - "Dedication"
  • It is a work of the U.S. Government

Source: The Public Domain by Rich StIM  Stanford University Libraries, CC BY NC

Open License

License = Give permission

  • Gives licensees permission to use licensed materials from the licensor.  
  • Gives specific instructions on what can and cannot be done with the licensed materials. 

Open License = Gives permission to access, reuse, redistribute with few or no restrictions. 


  • Open Hardware License
  • Open Source Software License
  • Open Gaming License
  • Creative Commons License


Open Educational Resources


  • Educational materials available for free and intended for reuse and distribution
  • Any Medium or format
  • In the Public Domain or under an Open License


Examples of Open Content:

Creative Commons License Elements



All CC licenses require that you must give credit.



Other can copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they use the same license.



Others can copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify and use your work, but they cannot use it to make money.



Others can copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work. They cannot change it.


Types of Creative Commmons Licenses


CC BY  Attribution CC BY


CC BY SA  Attribution-ShareAlike   CC BY-SA    


CC BY ND  Attribution-NoDerivs    CC BY-ND 


CC BY NC  Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC


CC BY NC SA  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike  CC BY-NC-SA


CC BY NC ND  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND


Source: Creative Commons

Creative Commons License Quiz