University Library at St. Cloud State University

Creative Commons

Creative Commons Logo
Image result for creative commons logoImage result for creative commons logoImage result for creative commons logoImage result for creative commons logo
Three Layers of a CC License
The CC license is a simple, standardized way for content creators and users to grant and communicate copyright permissions for their works.
All CC licenses help creators (aka "licensors") retain copyright while allowing others to copy, distribute, and make some use of their work, whether commercially or non-commercially. 
All CC licenses ensure that licensors get the credit for their work, and the CC license lasts for as long as applicable copyright lasts.  Each license has three "layers", one for each audience:

Legal code: All of the definitions, scopes, restrictions, and conditions that lawyers would need to have in case a licensor wishes to take legal action on a copyright violation;

Commons deed (aka "License deed" or "Human readable version"): A concise explanation, for the content creator or the user, of what the license will allow one to do with the work;

Machine readable version: A summary of the key freedoms and obligations of the license written into a format that software systems, search engines, and other kinds of technology can read.  Creative Commons has developed Creative Commons Rights Expression language (CC REL) in html code to achieve this. 
The Six CC Licenses
Creative Commons offers six licenses that communicate how the content creator wants their work to be shared or altered. For complete information about the licenses click here.
  Attribution (CC BY): Others can use and change your work, even commercially, as long as they give you credit.

  Attribution-ShareAlike (CC BY-SA): Others can use and change your work, even commercially, as long as they give you credit and license the new work under this same license.

  Attribution-NoDerivs (CC BY-ND): Others can copy and redistribute your work, for commercial or non-commercial purposes, as long as the work remains in its original condition, with credit going to you.

 Creative Commons License   Attribution-NonCommercial (CC BY-NC): Others can alter your work non-commercially, while giving you credit--but they don't have to license the derivative work on the same terms.

  Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA): Others can alter your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license the derivate work under the same terms.

  Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs (CC BY-NC-ND): No one can alter your work or use it commercially--people who download and share your work must credit you. 

To CC license your work, use the Choose a License Generator to get the CC license that works for you!
What About Public Domain?
Works no longer restricted by copyright may be in the public domain. The term “public domain” refers to creative materials that are not protected by intellectual property laws such as copyright, trademark, or patent laws. The public owns these works, not an individual author or artist. Anyone can use a public domain work without obtaining permission, but no one can ever own it.

Creative Commons offers two public domain licenses:

"No rights reserved": A living person waives their interests in their works and thereby place them as completely as possible in the public domain, so that others may freely build upon, enhance and reuse the works for any purposes without restriction under copyright or database law.

  Public domain: Cultural heritage institutions use this mark to label works in their collections no longer under copyright.
What is Creative Commons?
Creative Commons (CC) is an American non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to share and build upon legally (Frequently Asked Questions: About CC). People who make open access resources must license their work through Creative Commons to communicate to users how they will allow their work to be shared or altered.
Codes You Need to Know
Attribution    Attribution (by): All CC licenses require that people who use your work credit you in the way that you request. 

ShareAlike    ShareAlike (sa): Others may copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work as long as they distribute the modified work on the same terms.

NonCommercial    NonCommercial (nc): No one can copy, distrbute, display, or perform your work for commercial purposes without permission.

NoDerivatives    NoDerivatives (nd): Only original copies of your work may be copied, distributed, displayed, and performed. Those who wish to alter your work will need your permission.
How Do CC Licenses Affect Fair Use and Fair D
CC licenses do not reduce, restrict, or limit any rights under fair use or fair dealing. CC lienses are not triggered by fair use or fair dealing exceptions already permitted by copyright law---the licenses simply communicate to users how licensors want their work to be used. 
For more information about how CC licenses operate, please click here.
Subject Specialist
Picture: Jennifer Quinlan

Jennifer Quinlan
Associate Professor, Student Success Librarian
MC 140G
(320) 308-5626

CC License for This Subject Guide

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)
View License Deed  |   View Legal Code

Powered by SubjectsPlus

Education For Life.
St. Cloud State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer.
St. Cloud State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.
© 2013 St. Cloud State University