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Creative Commons: Creative Commons Licenses

What is a Creative Commons License?

Creative Commons licenses are "a free, simple, and standardized way to grant copyright permissions for creative and academic works; ensure proper attribution; and allow others to copy, distribute, and make use of those works."

~ Creative Commons. (2020). "What we do." Retrieved from https://creativecommons.org/about/

Three Layers of CC Licenses

 

CC three layers design

The base layer of the creative commons licenses is the legal code. These are the "lawyer-readable" terms that would be used in court.

The middle layer is called common deeds and this is what the average user would recognize. They are a summary of the legal code, but are in "human-readable" terms. 

The top layer is the "machine-readable" version of the license. This is what helps the creation be discoverable on the web. 

Exceptions & Limitations

CC licenses do not reduce, limit, or restrict any rights under exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as fair use. If the use of CC-licensed material would otherwise be allowed because of an applicable exception or limitation, there is no need to rely on the CC license or comply with its terms and conditions. 

Creative Commons. (2020). "Frequently asked questions." Retrieved from 

https://creativecommons.org/faq/#do-creative-commons-licenses-affect-exceptions-and-limitations-to-copyright-such-as-fair-dealing-and-fair-use

Attribution

Creative Commons By Share Alike License icon

This work “Creative Commons Licenses" is a derivative of January 2020 Creative Commons Certificate for Educators and Librarians by Creative Commons, used under CC BY 4.0 license by Pam Gladis.

Creative Commons icons by The Noun Project
from Creative Commons Downloads at 
https://creativecommons.org/about/downloads/ 
used under 
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Six Creative Commons Licenses

Using the four elements of the Creative Commons licenses, six different licenses are available to assign to a work.  This listing is in order from the least restrictive to the most restrictive license.

The Attribution license or “CC BY” allows people to use the work for any purpose (even commercially and even in modified form) as long as they give attribution to the creator.

 

The Attribution-ShareAlike license or “BY-SA” allows people to use the work for any purpose (even commercially and even in modified form), as long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they share with others available under the same or a compatible license.

 

The Attribution-NonCommercial license or “BY-NC” allows people to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the creator.

 

The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license or “BY-NC-SA” allows people to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they share with others available under the same or a compatible license.

 

Creative Commons BY and No Derivatives symbol

The Attribution-NoDerivatives license or “BY-ND” allows people to use the unadapted work for any purpose (even commercially), as long as they give attribution to the creator.

 

Creative Commons By Non-Commercial No Derivatives License

The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license or “BY-NC-ND” is the most restrictive license offered by CC. It allows people to use the unadapted work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the creator.

Four License Elements

attribution or BY symbol 
"BY" or Attribution icon. Included in all licenses.

non commercial symbol 
"NC" or Non-Commercial icon. Included in three of the licenses.

Share Alike symbol  
"SA" or ShareAlike icon. Included in two of the licenses.This requires anyone using the work to license their work in the same way. 

no derivatives symbol  
"ND" or NoDerivatives icon. Included in two of the licenses. This tells users they cannot share adaptations of the work. 

Public Domain

In addition to the six licenses, there is a “no rights reserved” option that allows creators to disclaim copyright altogether. 

This CC Zero waiver indicates creators have surrendered rights to their works. 

CC licenses cannot by applied to public domain works. 

Institutional Uses for CC Licenses

Faculty-Created Materials 
(where contracts or hiring agreements allow) 

  • Syllabi 
  • Course or Marketing Videos
  • Open Education Created Course Texts
  • Faculty-Developed Course Supplementary Materials
  • Materials published in Institutional Repository (e.g., research studies, reports)