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Creative Commons - What is It?

What is a creative commons license?

A Creative Commons (CC) license allows the owner of a image, literature piece or some other creative work to grant specific copyright persmissions for the use of their work. Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright; the license enables the copyright holder to modify the copyright terms to best suit their needs.


Types of Creative Commons Licenses:

About the licenses - creative commons Retrieved 9/4/2012, 2012, from http://creativecommons.org/licenses/

   Attribution      CC BY       

The Attribution 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.

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   Attribution-ShareAlike   CC BY-SA

The Attribution-ShareAlike 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.

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  Attribution-NoDerivs      CC BY-ND

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

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   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.

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   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.

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   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.

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Using Google to Locate Creative Commons Images

One of the simplest ways to find images with Creative Commons licensing is to use a Google Image search and choose the license that most closely matches what you intend to do. Even after locating an image this way, be sure to check the source of the image to verify what restrictions, if any, the creator has placed on its use.

To use Google this way:

  1. Search in Google
  2. Use the link below your search results to limit to images
  3. Use the Search tools button to open up further options to limit within your images
  4. Click on the Labeled for reuse dropdown to locate the type of use you need.

 

Screenshot of Google Image Search

Finding Open Content

What kind of licensed work you’re looking for will depend on how you want to use it. Do you want to simply copy and republish an image on your web page? If your use is noncommercial and you won’t be creating a derivative work, you can use any Creative Commons licensed content as long as you attribute it to the original author. Do you want to edit or remix that image? You’ll need to find a work with a license that does not restrict the creation of derivative works. If the work you want to remix has a “share alike” license, you’ll also need to be sure to license your new creation under the same terms. Below you'll find three examples of resources you can use to find open content on the web. 

  • Search.CreativeCommons.org: A search platform created by Creative Commons that lets you search multiple sites for Creative Commons license images, video, music, and other media based on the type of use you want to make. 

  • Wikimedia Commons: A repository of public domain and freely-licensed educational media content. Everything is free to use, but for all media not in the public domain, you’ll need to check the license and comply with its terms.

  • flickr: A repository of images and video that allows you to filter your searches for content you are free to use. Using the drop down filter in the upper left corner, you can search for works in the public domain, all Creative Commons licensed images, or works that allow you to make modifications or commercial uses.

Sources for Creative Commons Images & Creative Works