School level

Creative Commons

What is Creative Commons?

The idea underlying Creative Commons is that some people may not want to exercise all of the intellectual property rights the law affords them with regard to the resources they create. They are more relaxed about how other people can use their resources.                                                  

Creative Commons gives people an easy yet reliable way to tell the world “Some rights reserved” or even “No rights reserved.” Many people believe that all-out copyright doesn't help them gain the exposure they may want and others simply believe in contributing to and participating in an open, sharing-oriented community.                          

For whatever reasons, it is clear that some people want to share their work — and the power to reuse, modify, and distribute their work — with others on generous terms. Creative Commons intends to help people express this preference for sharing by offering the world a set of licences to use, at no charge.

Learn more about Creative Commons here

How do I add a Creative Commons licence to my resource?

If you want to apply a Creative Commons licence to a file you are uploading, you can do so in the final step of the ‘Add a Resource’ process. You have several options here, including the option to maintain ‘All Rights Reserved’ but we would encourage you to consider assigning a Creative Commons licence in order that others can freely use, adapt, distribute and share your resource. Select your preferred licence and click the ‘Save’ button.

If you are uploading a website URL to and the website has been created by or contains content produced by someone other than you, you should exercise caution before applying a Creative Commons licence. The best option is to include a link to the ‘Copyright’ page for that website and we’ve included a place where you can do this during the ‘Add a Resource’ process.

Do I have to put Creative Commons licences on my resources?

No, you don't have to add Creative Commons licensing to your resources, but it is a great way to share and collaborate with others. Some Scoilnet users want to share their work with others on generous terms. Creative Commons helps people express this preference for sharing by offering the world a set of licenses and Scoilnet has integrated these licences in its ‘Add a Resource’ process.

What do the different Creative Commons licences mean?

There are three Creative Commons licences available to users sharing resources on the Scoilnet website.

  • Attribution – You let others copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request.
  • Share Alike – You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a licence identical to the licence that governs your work.
  • Non-commercial – You let others copy, distribute, display and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only.

We have deliberately only chosen three Creative Commons licences on as we want to encourage a thriving commons through the sharing of knowledge. The first two licences are the least restrictive, i.e., ‘Attribution’ and ‘Share Alike’ are more open than ‘Non-Commercial’. The difference between ‘Share Alike’ and ‘Non-commercial’ is that the former doesn’t place restrictions on the type of use–it only requires works that build upon it to be released freely, usually under the same licence. In practice, a ‘ShareAlike’ licence may restrict any profit-making from your resource as anything derived from your resource must be shared in a similar manner.

For more in-depth information including licence deeds and legal codes, please visit the Creative Commons Licences page.

Can I trust the Creative Commons licence applied to each resource?

We give users the option to apply Creative Commons licences to their own resources. While our Terms and Conditions prohibits users from uploading infringing content, we cannot guarantee that every user who uploads a resource and applies a Creative Commons to it has all of the rights necessary to do so.                                  

If the user does not possess all of the necessary rights in a resource (or any content within the resource), then the Creative Commons licence will not be effective in regard to that content. Therefore, we suggest you exercise caution in using Creative Commons-licensed materials. You may want to send a message to a member who has uploaded Creative Commons-licensed resources to learn more about the content. Contact the Scoilnet team in the first instance and we can contact the resource owner.

If you have reason to believe that a user has uploaded infringing content (e.g., a textbook), we encourage you to report the resource so the Scoilnet team can review it.

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Registering for a Scoilnet Account – your first step to contributing and sharing

What you need...

To register for a Scoilnet Account you will need to have a Teaching Council number and a roll number for your school in Ireland.

If you already have a Scoilnet Account then you can sign in here.

The benefits...

A Scoilnet account will allow you to upload your resources or weblinks to Scoilnet as well as enabling you to share and add resources to a favourites listing. Users who have a Scoilnet Account will also be able to fully access Scoilnet Maps and Census@School from home.


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