Copyright and Creative Commons

Copyright and UQ’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy

Under UQ’s IP policy, there are times when the University will assert ownership of IP that you create. 

  • The University does not assert ownership over any IP in Scholarly or Creative Works that are an output of your research.
  • The University does assert IP ownership over all IP in teaching materials produced by University staff, students or affiliates in the course of, or for use in, teaching at the University.
  • For works that can be considered both teaching materials and a Scholarly or Creative Work, the University will treat it as teaching materials and will assert ownership over all IP.

Creating teaching material with UQ students

If you are working with UQ students to create a book to be used as teaching material:

  • Student assignment work as part of a course  – The students must sign an author agreement to assign their IP to UQ.
  • A Student Staff Partnership (SSP)  – SSP students will have signed a Deed poll assigning their IP to UQ.
  • Higher Degree by Research (HDR) students – HDRs will have completed a Student Intellectual Property and Confidentiality Deed to transfer their IP rights as part of their study at UQ. HDRs still retain the copyright to their research and thesis, but grant UQ a licence to use that in certain ways.

Note: We ask that all contributors to your book to sign and return an author agreement before publication.

Creative Commons licence

The next chapter explains how to choose a Creative Commons licence for your book. The Creative Commons licence allows you to grant copyright permissions for your work; while ensuring proper attribution; and allowing others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works.

Using Copyright and Creative Commons licensed material in your work

It is important to make sure that you have the appropriate rights to all the content you plan on including in your Pressbooks publication. In order to ensure this, the content you use should be: 

  • Owned by you
  • Used with permission of the copyright owner (guide to Permissions)
  • Licensed with a relevant Creative Commons licence.
Creative Commons licensed content can be used in your publication provided it is used in line with the relevant licence conditions. You should be very careful to provide an attribution exactly according to the licence terms. The basic requirements are:
  • Name of the creator
  • Title of the work
  • The URL of the work
  • Type of licence it is available under and a link to the licence

Note: We don’t recommend using any materials licensed CC BY 2.0 as it has been superseded and has strict attribution requirements that make it easy to make a mistake. Materials licensed CC BY 4.0 are preferred.

Keep track of the content you use in your Pressbook has tips on recording the details of Creative Commons content as you create your book.
When choosing Creative Commons licensed content, we recommend only using material that has been licensed with the following licences:

This enables scientists, educators, artists and other creators and owners of copyright or database-protected content to waive their interests in their works and making them as completely as possible in the public domain. Others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

  • CC-BY Attribution

Your work can be distributed, remixed, adapted and built upon by others, including commercially. They must credit you for the original creation.

  • CC-BY-SA Attribution-ShareAlike

Your work can be remixed, adapted, and build upon, including for commercial purposes, by others. They must credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. For example, Wikipedia uses this license.

If you use content that has a Creative Commons Share Alike licence, your publication must also be licensed with exactly the same Creative Commons licence that includes the Share Alike condition.

The next section has more information about Creative Commons Licences.

Our Open Educational Resources (OER) guide can help you find relevantly licensed content that you can include in your book.


Contact the UQ Copyright Officer for assistance with what content can be included in your publication or if you need help with permission requests.


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Open Textbooks @ UQ guide and templates Copyright © by UQ Library is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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