The Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that works to increase the amount of creativity (cultural, educational, and scientific content) in “the commons” — the body of work that is available to the public for free and legal sharing, use, repurposing, and remixing. Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright and the public domain. Creative Commons licenses help authors/creators keep their copyrights while allowing certain uses of their works.
A work published with a Creative Commons license usually lists one of the following ways in which the work may be used.
|This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon a work, even commercially, as long as they credit the author/creator for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with works licensed under Attribution.|
|Attribution Share Alike
|This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit the author/creator and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on the original will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.|
|Attribution No Derivatives
|This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to the author/creator.|
|This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge the author/creator and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.|
|Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
|This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work non-commercially, as long as they credit the author/creator and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute the original work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on the original work. All new work based on the original will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.|
|Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives
|This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download works and share them with others as long as they mention the author/creator and link back to the author/creator, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.|