The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the USA. It is composed of 72 districts and 112 colleges serving 2.3 million students per year. In September 2013 the Board of Governers voted to require Creative Commons licensing on publicly funded grants and contracts.
The rules change will affect all materials created from now on and is not retroactive. By requiring a Creative Commons Attribution license, the board of governors has given individuals, nonprofits, and businesses permission to use and build upon material created with public funds, so long as the creator is credited. Innovative use of these materials may be made by any teacher, parent and school district, nationwide and beyond. The materials will be available for reuse and improved by creative entrepreneurs, education start-ups and traditional commercial businesses.
Using a Creative Commons Attribution license also saves taxpayers money by not funding duplicate work that may only be accessible on the local level. For instance, under the old grant requirements a community college staff may have produced a report under contract from the system Chancellor’s Office but was not required to openly license or share that report with other colleges. This made it difficult for other colleges to access and reuse the report but, with the new Creative Commons Attribution license requirement, other colleges can both view the report and reuse, share and improve upon it with updated information and data.
See also this article from The Chronicle of Higher Education California’s Community Colleges Shift to Creative Commons Licenses.