20 FAQ: Reusing CC-Licensed Works

When re-using another CC-licensed work, who do I put as the author? The original author or myself?

It depends. How much has the book been changed from its original version? If minimal surface changes were made, it’s recommended to retain the original author as the author. If more work went into putting the book into Pressbooks from another format, including creating a custom cover image with plans for additional tailoring, it makes sense to list the adapter as the author. This is where the attribution statement saves us: because you are linking out to the original book, users will be able to see the original.

The copyright year and the copyright holder for the source book were added automatically by Pressbooks when I created my book. Is that supposed to stay there?

It depends. How much work has gone into the book? In the case of Janet Vote, we listed her and Izzy, her student, as the authors because they moved the content into Pressbooks and plan to make additional changes to the content by adding in chapters on national parks not represented in the original text. In the case of Ryan McPherson, he only made surface changes to the book, so we retained the original author and explained in the Book Info section in Pressbooks. The book that the Writing Core Program is working on would also be a case where the instructors can list themselves as authors because they are pulling from many different sources, making changes, and even authoring portions of the book. In the case of the year, I would say to update the year to the date the book goes live.

Do I need to keep track of changes I make throughout the book?

According to the Creative Commons FAQ, you must indicate if you have modified the work in your attribution statement. It is a good idea to keep track of changes that were made to the original text through track changes. It is not necessary to note trivial alterations, such as correcting a typo or changing a font size. Finally, you must retain an indication of previous modifications to the work..


Is the license in Pressbooks the same as the attribution statement?

No. Use the Book Source field for the attribution statement at the book level and the footnotes for attribution at the chapter level. Use the copyright to select your license and to provide your copyright statement: how you wish others to attribute your work if used. Identify the Title (linked), Author (linked if the author has an author page), Source (This is the URL for the work and is linked from the Title), and License (Linked to Creative Commons license).


Do I need to specify which version of the license I am using?

No. When you are creating your copyright statement manually you do not need to list the license version. But you don’t have to state which version of the license it is if you are creating a manual attribution. You just have to link to the license. The link will provide the level of license for the user if they need it.Pressbooks will provide the license version once you select the license, however.

How do I generate a machine-readable license and copy the code into Pressbooks?


Attribution: This chapter was adapted in part from the following resources:

The OER Starter Kit by Abbey Elder is available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Creative Commons. (2022). Best practices for attribution.

Elder, A.K. (2019). The OER Starter Kit. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Digital Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31274/isudp.7

“Queens open textbook authoring guide: A guide to authoring & adapting open textbooks.” Queen’s University.

Zink, Julie. (2021). Organizational Communication: COMM 3893 & MGT 3123. San Antonio, Texas. UTSA Pressbooks / A derivative from the original work


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OER Toolkit Copyright © 2023 by DeeAnn Ivie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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