The CC licenses
CC licenses utilise four terms (with standard abbreviations and identifying symbols) to represent four aspects of copyright which a creator may choose to apply to a creative work. These four terms are combined in various ways to create a number of separate licenses.
All of the CC licenses require attribution (or credit) to the author or creator of the work.
Attribution (BY). You let others copy, distribute, display and perform your copyrighted work – and derivative works based upon it – but only if they give you credit. All CC licenses contain this condition.
In addition, all of the CC licenses may have one or more of the following permissions or restrictions:
What are the different licensing combinations?
Copyright holders may choose which permissions or restrictions they want to apply by combining these licensing terms to generate one of six CC licenses, described below.
||Attribution (CC BY)||This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. The OER Foundation and many OER pracitioners recommend this license for OER (open educational resources).|
||Attribution — Share-Alike (CC BY-SA)||This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.|
||Attribution — No Derivatives (CC BY-ND)||This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you. Your work can be included in compendiums, but may not be translated or modified without your permission.|
||Attribution — Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC)||This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.|
||Attribution — Non-Commercial — Share-Alike (CC BY-NC-SA)||This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms.|
||Attribution — Non-Commercial — No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND)||This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.|
Test your knowledge: choose a license
The Creative Commons website provides a free online tool which you may use to license your work. The tool is designed to generate information about a particular license and the code to display the license on a website. We make use of this tool in the following practice activity.
CC public domain tools
While CC licenses help authors keep and manage their copyright on terms they choose, Creative Commons also provides other tools that work in the “all rights granted” space of the public domain. The public domain refers to creative works which are not protected by intellectual property rights at all and available for use by all members of the public. Works enter the public domain when the intellectual property rights have expired or the creator donates work to the public domain by forfeiting all intellectual property rights. Because copyright law is different from country to country, the recognition and meaning of the public domain will vary across national boundaries. Some countries may limit the use of public domain works or may not acknowledge public domain works at all. To learn more, refer to Copyright for Educators.
CC public domain tools enable authors and copyright owners who want to dedicate their works to the worldwide public domain to do so, and facilitate the labeling and discovery of works that are already free of known copyright restrictions. Note that the public domain is not a license, but a dedication by the authors to waive intellectual property rights on the work.
The CC0 tool allows creators to waive all rights and place a work in the public domain. The Creative Commons website provides a Public Domain Deed for this purpose. The CC0 tool should not be used for marking existing works in the public domain.
The Public Domain Mark allows any web user to “mark” a work (that is already in the public domain) as being in the public domain.
(Insert activity using each tool here.)
Content on this page was sourced, revised and remixed from:
- CCLearn explanations, OER and CC licenses