Creative commons

Creative commons

"Open source isn't about saving money, it's about doing more stuff, and getting incremental innovation with the finite budget you have."
—Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat

Creative Commons organization has released copyright licenses to allow you to easily define how people can make use of your creative work. CC is split into multiple licenses based on what you want to permit. It is widely used for pictures, music, videos and academic material and has been dubbed as ‘some rights reserved’ copyrights.

Organizations making use of CC licenses include Flickr, Wikipedia and Nine Inch Nails.

The parameters are:

  • Attribution CC BY Attribution (BY) - must credit the author of the original work
  • Attribution CC BY No Derivatives (ND) - not allowed to modify the original work
  • Attribution CC BY Non Commercial (NC) - only non-commercial use and derivatives
  • Attribution CC BY Share Alike (SA) - copyleft parameter, license must remain the same

These four parameters are used to define a total of six different licenses:

Attribution CC BY

Attribution CC BY

This 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. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials.

Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND

Attribution-NoDerivs CC BY-ND

This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike CC BY-NC-SA

This 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.

Attribution-ShareAlike Attribution-ShareAlike

Attribution-ShareAlike CC BY-SA

This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to “copyleft” free and open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use. This is the license used by Wikipedia, and is recommended for materials that would benefit from incorporating content from Wikipedia and similarly licensed projects.

Attribution-NonCommercial Attribution-NonCommercial

Attribution-NonCommercial CC BY-NC

This 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.

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs CC BY-NC-ND

This license is the most restrictive of our six main licenses, only allowing others to download your works and share them with others as long as they credit you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

In addition there is a CC0 license, which allows you to waive all rights and place your work in the public domain.