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Scholarly Communication Services - Creative Commons: Essentials

What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creative works and knowledge through their CC licenses.  CC licenses allow work to be reused without permission when certain conditions are fulfilled.  CC licenses have been found to be legally valid in many jurisdictions and countries.

Creators can add CC licenses to their work to share it and make it more available to view and use. Creators can select the license based on how they want others to use, share, or create derivatives of their work.  

CC licenses generally do not take away a creator's copyright, and only a creator (or copyright holder) can add a CC license to a work.

Related LibGuides:

Content credit for this page: Images (LibGuide). By Lauri Rebar.

Creative Commons Essentials

Wikimedia Foundation (2017, February). What is Creative Commons? [Video]. YouTube.

Using Creative Commons (CC) Licenses & Works

Copyright and Creative Commons for Artists

Seemel, G. (2013). The new kind of copyright [Video]. Vimeo.

Books in the Library

Creative Commons Licensing Conditions

Licensing Conditions (4)
Attribution (by)                     
ShareAlike (sa)                     
NonCommercial (nc)          
NoDerivatives (nd)               
Image credit: Licensing types, by Creative Commons.   Permission by CC-BY-4.0.

Creative Commons Licensing Types

Creative Commons licenses allow you to reuse an image or other creative work by following the guidelines for the specific licensed image. Creative Commons images may be licensed in 6 different ways by their creator. These licenses are listed in order of broadest to most restrictive:
Attribution CC BY         CC BY
Attribution ShareAlike CC BY-SA           CC BY-SA
Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC        CC BY-NC
Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND            CC BY-ND
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA   
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND  
The following licenses are labels for works that are free of copyright:
Public Domain (CC0) 
Free Cultural Works    

Image credits:  Licenses and examples, by Creative Commons.  Permission by CC BY 4.0.

Creative Commons Licensing Spectrum

What types of CC licenses can be shared, remixed, and used for commercial uses?  Which licenses tend to be more open or have more restrictions?

Spectrum of Creative Commons Licenses

Image credit: Creative Commons License Spectrum by Shaddim. Permission by CC BY.

Citing Creative Commons Images

Your attribution should include these elements, which adheres to Creative Commons best practices.

Title of image/video [linked to original image]

by Author [linked to profile page]

under License [linked to license deed]

Click on the tabs above to see examples.

Use this Creative Commons Attribution Builder for assistance in building your attribution.