Using Creative Commons language in oral history release forms

While our standard oral history release agreement is a practical tool for many oral history projects, some projects may need something more nuanced, depending on the respondent population or the nature of the project itself.  Jack Dougherty and Candace Simpson have put together a nice explanation of the Creative Commons license in their article A Creative Commons Solution.  The basic template cited in their article informed Duke’s standard agreement, but more fully looks like this:


Participant’s name:
Mailing address:
Phone and/or email:

I voluntarily agree to be interviewed for this historical study of [project details]. I understand that the following items may be created from my interview:
• an audio and/or video recording
• an edited transcript and summary
• a photograph of me
• copies of any personal documents or additional photos that I wish to share

I understand that my interview (and other items above) may be distributed to the public for educational purposes, including formats such as print, public programming, and the Internet.  Also, I agree to freely share my interview (and other items above) under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. This means that I retain the copyright, but that the public may freely copy, modify, and share these items for noncommercial purposes under the same terms, if they include the original source information. In return, the interviewer promises to send one free copy of the interview recording, transcript, and related items to my address above. Any exceptions to this agreement must be listed below:
Permission granted:
Participant’s signature date


Interviewer’s signature date


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