Creative Commons is an organization that provides licenses that authors, artists, and creators can use to proactively grant permissions to their works to make them available for public use under certain conditions. The authors or creators still retain the copyright of the work; however, they are providing some permissions upfront - such as the ability to distribute or build upon a work - as long as certain conditions are met. For example, providing attribution to the original author or only using the work for non-commercial purposes.
In addition, the licenses provide an avenue for content users to use works if they meet the conditions of the license. The content user will not need to request permission, pay royalty fees, or think about fair use because the license grants permissions upfront.
The Creative Common licenses are as follows:
The CC BY license is the most open of all the creative commons licenses. This license allows others to distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even commercially, as long as attribution is given to the author or creator.
The CC BY-SA license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work, even for commercially, as long as attribution is given to the author or creator and any new creations are licensed with the same license.
The CC BY-NC license requires attribution of the author or creator and can only be used for non-commercial purposes, which works nicely for most educational uses. The license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially; however, they do not need to license any new creations or derivatives under the same license.
The CC BY-NC-SA license is a bit more restrictive. The license allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes as long as attribution is given to the original author and the new creation is licensed with the same license.
The CC BY-NC-ND license is the most restrictive of all the Creative Commons licenses. The license allows others to distribute works as long as attribution is given to the author or creator. In addition, the use can only be for non-commercial purposes and no changes can be made to the work in any way.
Locating items with a Creative Commons license is not always easy. We recommend the following websites:
Audio & Music
The information presented in this guide is intended for informational and educational purposes only. It is not offered as legal advice or counsel. Faculty, staff, students, and others associated with the college should consult an attorney for advice concerning their individual copyright situations and needs.