What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 2001, that promotes the creative reuse of intellectual and artistic works — whether owned or in the public domain. Creative Commons licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors, artists, and educators that build upon the “all rights reserved” concept of traditional copyright to offer a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach.

Creative Commons offers creators the ability to allow others to use their works for commercial purposes, or not; to make derivative works, or not. It is, in short, a way of fine-tuning your copyright. Tens of millions of works have been licensed with Creative Commons licenses.

Here’s an easy step-by-step guide to help you choose your license. In short, there are four areas of copyright permissions that you can choose to retain or share:

Attribution – Users must attribute your work in the way you have specified.

Share-Alike – Users must license their version of your work using the same sort of license that you’ve used.

No derivative works – The work cannot be modified in any way.

Non-commercial – The work may not be used for commercial purposes.

The current generation of licenses includes:

Version 3.0 Licenses:
Attribution by
Attribution-NoDerivs by nd
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs by nc nd
Attribution-NonCommercial by nc
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike by nc sa
Attribution-ShareAlike by sa