Creative Commons licenses

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[[File:Creative Commons and Commerce.ogg|thumb|350px|This video explains how Creative Commons licenses can be used in conjunction with commercial licensing arrangements.]]
'''Creative Commons licenses''' are several [[copyright]] licenses released on December 16, 2002 by [[Creative Commons]], a [[United States|U.S.]] [[Non-profit organization|non-profit]] corporation founded in 2001.
'''Creative Commons licenses''' are several [[copyright]] licenses released on December 16, 2002 by [[Creative Commons]], a [[United States|U.S.]] [[Non-profit organization|non-profit]] corporation founded in 2001.

Revision as of 07:09, 27 November 2009

Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses released on December 16, 2002 by Creative Commons, a U.S. non-profit corporation founded in 2001.

Many of the licenses, notably all the original licenses, grant certain "baseline rights",Baseline rights and restrictions in CC licenses such as the right to distribute the copyrighted work without changes, at no charge. Some of the newer licenses do not grant these rights.

Creative Commons licenses are currently available in 43 different jurisdictions worldwide, with more than nineteen others under development.Creative Commons International Licenses for jurisdictions outside of the United States are under the purview of Creative Commons International.


Original licenses

The original set of licenses all grant the "baseline rights". The details of each of these licenses depends on the version, and comprises a selection of four conditions:

  • File:Cc-by new.svg Attribution (by): Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only if they give the author or licensor the credits in the manner specified by these.
  • File:Cc-nc.svg Noncommercial or NonCommercial (nc): Licensees may copy, distribute, display, and perform the work and make derivative works based on it only for noncommercial purposes.
  • File:Cc-nd.svg No Derivative Works or NoDerivs (nd): Licensees may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of the work, not derivative works based on it.
  • File:Cc-sa.svg ShareAlike (sa): Licensees may distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs the original work. (See also copyleft.)


Template:Update Mixing and matching these conditions produces sixteen possible combinations, of which eleven are valid Creative Commons licenses and five are not. Of the five invalid combinations, four include both the "nd" and "sa" clauses, which are mutually exclusive; and one includes none of the clauses. Of the eleven valid licenses, the five that lack the "by" clause have been phased out because 98% of licensors requested Attribution, though they do remain available for reference on the website.Creative Commons Licenses This leaves six regularly used licenses:

  1. Attribution alone (by)
  2. Attribution + Noncommercial (by-nc)
  3. Attribution + NoDerivs (by-nd)
  4. Attribution + ShareAlike (by-sa)
  5. Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivs (by-nc-nd)
  6. Attribution + Noncommercial + ShareAlike (by-nc-sa)

For example, the Creative Commons Attribution (BY) license allows one to share and remix (create derivative works), even for commercial use, so long as attribution is given.Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License


All current licenses "require you to attribute the original author". You have to give attribution to "the best of your ability using the information available".How do I properly attribute a Creative Commons Licensed Work Generally this implies the following:

  • Include any copyright notices (if applicable). If the work itself contains any copyright notices placed there by the copyright holder, you must leave those notices intact, or reproduce them in a way that is reasonable to the medium in which you are re-publishing the work.
  • Cite the author's name, screen name, or user ID, etc. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link that name to the person's profile page, if such a page exists.
  • Cite the work's title or name, if such a thing exists. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice to link the name or title directly to the original work.
  • Cite the specific CC license the work is under. If you are publishing on the Internet, it is nice if the license citation links to the license on the CC website.
  • Mention if the work is a derivative work or adaptation, in addition to the above, you need to identify that your work is a derivative work i.e., “This is a Finnish translation of the [original work] by [author].” or “Screenplay based on [original work] by [author].”

Works protected

Work licensed under a Creative Commons License is protected by copyright applicable law.(Creative Commons Code) This allows Creative Commons licenses to be applied to all work protected by copyright law, including: books, plays, movies, music, articles, photographs, blogs, and websites.

However, the license may not modify the rights allowed by fair use or fair dealing or exert restrictions which violate copyright exceptions. Furthermore, Creative Commons Licenses are non-exclusive and non-revocable.(Creative Commons) Any work or copies of the work obtained under a Creative Commons license may continue to be used under that license.

In the case of works protected by multiple Creative Common Licenses, the user may choose either.

Other licenses

A number of additional licenses have been introduced, which are more specialized:

  • Sampling licenses, with two options:
    • Sampling Plus: parts of the work can be copied and modified for any purpose other than advertising, and the entire work can be copied for noncommercial purposes
    • Noncommercial Sampling Plus: the whole work or parts of the work can be copied and modified for noncommercial purposes

Besides licenses, Creative Commons also offers an easy way to release material into the public domain through the Public Domain Dedication, as well as Founder's Copyright, through which the work is released into the public domain after 14 or 28 years.

A recent project was announcedCreative Commons press releases called CC0,Labs.Created.Commons.orgWiki.Created a legal tool for waiving as many rights as legally possible, worldwide. CC0 improves and extends the current CC public domain dedication, by adding a waiver statement and attempting a universal rather than the current dedication's U.S.-centric approach.

Legal and technical work on the CC0 waiver was completed on 1 December 2008. Launch is pending.Report from CC board meeting, by Gavin Baker (16 January 2009) -- Open Access News

Retired licenses

Due to either disuse or criticism, a number of previously offered Creative Commons licenses have since been retired Template:Cite web, and are no longer recommended for new works. The retired licenses include all licenses lacking the Attribution element Template:Cite web other than the Public Domain Dedication, as well as two licenses not allowing non-commercial copying:

  • Sampling: parts of the work can be used for any purpose other than advertising, but the whole work cannot be copied or modified
  • DevNations: a Developing Nations license, which only applies to countries deemed by the World Bank as a "non-high-income economy". Full copyright restrictions apply to people in other countries.

List of projects that release contents under Creative Commons licenses

See also





External links


az:Creative Commons Lisenziyaları es:Licencias Creative Commons fr:Licence Creative Commons hy:Creative Commons արտոնագրեր id:Lisensi Creative Commons ia:Licentias Creative Commons it:Licenze Creative Commons lt:Creative Commons licencijos pl:Licencje Creative Commons ru:Лицензии Creative Commons simple:Creative Commons licenses th:สัญญาอนุญาตครีเอทีฟคอมมอนส์ vi:Giấy phép Creative Commons

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