Skip to Main Content
SJR State Learning Resources Department - Library, Tutoring, and Academic Support
Hours  •  Databases  •  Library Catalog  •  Library Help  •  Math Help  •  Writing Help  •  Tutorials & Test Prep  •  Tutoring  •  Wellness  •  Events  •  More for Students

What Is Creative Commons?

You may have seen symbols on different Web sites, images, videos, or other on line with the C C creative commons logo. That symbol is an indication that the creator of the work has decided to allow use of their material by other people. They may have specific conditions that must be met, so there are various licenses to choose from to help define what the creator will allow.  But what is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons is an organization dedicated to helping creators of content express to the public that they are willing to allow reuse of their creation by defining ways the public may interact with it. For a fairly straightforward, and yet visually interesting, explanation, watch this video from Wikimedia Foundation.

 

Video created by the Wikimedia Foundation

Types of Creative Commons Licences

There are six different license types, listed from most to least permissive here:

  •   CC BY: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator

 

  •   CC BY-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-SA includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
SA – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  •   CC BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

It includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

 

  •   CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms. 

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
SA – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  •   CC BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. 

CC BY-ND includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
ND – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

  •   CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

CC BY-NC-ND includes the following elements:
BY – Credit must be given to the creator
NC – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
ND – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 

This is not considered a license. If a creator choose to use this, they completely give up rights to their work. Anyone can use it in any way they see fit.

  CC0 (aka CC Zero) is a public dedication tool, which allows creators to give up their copyright and put their works into the worldwide public domain. CC0 allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, with no conditions.

 

The information in this section is borrowed from the Creative Commons Web site, and can be found at this address:   https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/

 

What Happens if Creative Commons Is Applied to Works?

Before Licensing

Before you apply a CC license or CC0 to your work, there are some important things to consider:

The licenses and CC0 cannot be revoked. This means once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright, even if you later stop distributing it.

You must own or control copyright in the work. Only the copyright holder or someone with express permission from the copyright holder can apply a CC license or CC0 to a copyrighted work. If you created a work in the scope of your job, you may not be the holder of the copyright.

How to apply a CC license or CC0 to your work

CC-licensing your work is simple. All you have to do is choose the CC license that suits your needs and then communicate this choice in a way that will be clear to people who come across your work. As part of this communication, you should include a link to the license you’ve chosen.

This can be as simple as a bit of text stating and linking to the license in a copyright notice, like this:

© 2019. This work is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 license.

…or as complex as embedding the license information on your website using the HTML code associated with the particular license. Use the Creative Commons License Chooser to get the relevant HTML code.

text borrowed from https://creativecommons.org/about/cclicenses/

Sites to Look for Creative Commons Material

Flickr Bandcamp Wikipedia YouTube Internet Archive Vimeo Wikimedia Commons Free Music Archive Skills Commons Europeana Tribe of Noise Jamendo MIT OpenCourseware PLOS

About Learning Resources  •  Our Policies and Guiding Principles  •  Contact Us

SJR State is an EQUAL OPPORTUNITY/EQUAL ACCESS COLLEGE. | SJR State and Title IX Compliance and Commitment | St. Johns River State College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Questions about the accreditation of St. Johns River State College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, by calling 404-679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).