Many open education advocates prefer CC-BY licences because they offer the most flexible options for others to reuse OER work. The CC-BY Creative Commons licence is also known as the “CC Attribution licence”. Creative Commons explains the licence in the following way:
You are free to:
Under the following terms:
CC-BY is the most open of the Creative Commons licenses, which means that society at large can build upon content licensed this way in the easiest, freest and most effective ways. Licensing this way builds on an open information ecosystem, where not only can any student get access to textbooks for free, but further, anyone — another professor, a university, an app maker, or an artist — can build new value, new content and new services on top of this base layer of “public good,” the Open Educational Resource. This is exciting!
Other Creative Commons licences (namely no-derivatives, non-commercial and share-alike) place limitations on how Open Textbooks and OER in education can be reused. In particular:
What if I don't want commercial publishers to take my work and profit from it?
In theory, yes, anyone can do anything they want with CC-BY-licenced work as long as they provide attribution to its creators.
The attribution requirement is a deterrent for anyone looking to profit from your work, especially if you clearly set out how you expect to be attributed. If the attribution makes it clear to a potential buyer that they can find the content elsewhere for free, there is little interest for a commercial publisher to invest in creating a paid version.
Some authors use the NC licence attribute to stop their content from being used as a part of a paid service, or a service offered by a for-profit company, but it is not clear that this restricts all commercial uses of the material. More restrictive again is using a CC BY-NC-SA licence which means that the entity reusing the material must share the work under a similar licence which can further inhibit commercialization.
Adapted from Rebus Community. Licensing. https://about.rebus.community/licensing/ Licenced CC BY 4.0.