Multimedia: Creative Commons

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What is Creative Commons?

Creative Commons (CC) was established in 2001. Since then, 3 versions have been released and over 350 million works are now under CC licensing. CC is used by a number of well-known companies, such as Flickr, Wikipedia, Google, WhiteHouse.gov, and Al Jazeera.

The goal of CC is to encourage the legal sharing and modification of created works with the consent of the creator. CC offers licenses to companies, individuals, and institutions so these entities may maintain a fluid and changeable copyright on their work(s). 

CC licenses range between full copyright ("All rights reserved") to public domain, thus allowing the authors of creative works the flexibility to change copyright status as needed.

CC offers six types of licenses that authors may obtain:

  • Attribution (by) - "You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work — and derivative works based upon it — but only if they give credit the way you request."
  • Share Alike (sa) - "You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work."
  • Non-Commercial (nc) - "You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work — and derivative works based upon it — but for non-commercial purposes only."
  • No Derivative Works (nd) - "You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only verbatim copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it."

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