The major Creative Commons licenses

The content on this page was originally created by CreativeCommons.org and has been edited and remixed under a creative commons 3.0 attribution license.

The following describes each of the six main licenses offered when you choose to publish your work with a Creative Commons license. We have listed them starting with the most restrictive license type you can choose and ending with the most accommodating license type you can choose. It’s also helpful to know there are a set of baseline rights all six licenses offer to others and we’ve prepared a list of things to think about before choosing a license.

Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd)

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Choose by-nc-nd licenseThis license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.
Read the Commons Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike (by-nc-sa)

byncnd

Choose by-nc-sa licenseThis 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. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

 

Attribution Non-commercial (by-nc)

bync

Choose by-nc licenseThis 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.
Read the Commons Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution No Derivatives (by-nd)

bync

Choose by-nd licenseThis license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed long unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.
Read the Commons Deed | View Legal Code

 

Attribution Share Alike (by-sa)

bynd

Choose by-sa license This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

 

Attribution (by)

by

Choose by licenseThis 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, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

 

Other licensesdisable rich-text

We also offer a set of other licenses for more specialized applications. Sampling+Licenses allow for snippets to be remixed into new works, even commercially. Our Public Domain Dedication lets you free works from copyright completely, and our Founders Copyright lets you do the same, but after 14 or 28 years. Musicians looking to share their work with fans might want to look at the Music Sharing license. The Developing Nations license lets you offer less restrictive terms to countries that aren’t considered high income by the World Bank, and finally, for those licensing software, we offer the GNU
GPL
and GNU LGPL licenses.

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Comments

How to determine if a portion of a work is Creative Commons

This is a good question. According to the Creative Commons (CC) licenses, any work that reuses a CC-licensed work (in whole or in part) is supposed to attribute the CC-licensed work by including (at least) the following information.

1. Title of the Work
2. Name of the Author
3. The license the work is under

ALL Creative Commons licenses require attribution, from the most restrictive to the most lenient (ie Creative Commons Attribution license). This means if someone uses a Creative Commons work as part of their own content, they should give the user/viewer/listener notice. This is what should tip you off that a portion of a work is Creative Commons.

This also explains why it is critical to properly identify and attribute Creative Commons licensed works. Identifying the work as CC licensed allows downstream users to then reuse and share the work without confusion.

Unfortunately, the reality is that sometimes people do not properly identify CC licensed works. If they haven't properly attributed then it is best to find a more clear source.

Here's some more on all types of questions regarding CC licenses

http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Frequently_Asked_Questions

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