This section of the Crash Course is intended to address questions about Creative Commons licenses.
This work is licensed under a CC-BY License.
Proper attribution is to the Copyright Crash Course and Georgia Harper.
Full copyright in a work exists from the moment you hit save, put pen to paper, or paintbrush to canvas. That copyright exists for your lifetime plus 70 years. That's a really long time for work to be locked up. Some creators may want total control over their creative works, but others may be interested in having their work built upon by others. Creative Commons (CC) licenses exist to facilitate that reuse.
Copyright is all rights reserved. Creative Commons is some rights reserved.
CC licenses work with traditional copyright to enable easier use of things you create, and allow you to reuse work from others. They do this by communicating in a standardized way the rights you want to share with others. Creative Commons licenses replace the individual negotiations for usage rights that traditional all rights reserved copyright requires. If you want to allow others to copy, remix, and share your work, there's a license for that. If you want others to do all of that, but not for commercial purposes, there's a different license for that. See Types of Licenses to learn more.
There are four main conditions you can apply to a CC license.
Attribution - all CC licenses require this condition. Users must attribute their source, explain changes they've made, and link to the original work. Their attribution should not give the impression that the original creator(s) endorses their work.
Non-Commercial - this condition means that users are free to use and adapt your work, but they cannot do so for commercial purposes.
Share Alike - this condition means that users need to distribute any modified works with the same license. It's intended to keep CC licensed works as part of the commons rather than locked up with all rights reserved.
No Derivatives - users can copy, distribute, perform and display the work, but they need permission from the creator(s) to make any changes.
The four different license conditions can be mixed and matched to create licenses for different situations. There are six main license types you can use to specify what people are allowed to do with your work.
Users are free to copy, adapt, remix, and redistribute the content - even commercially. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s). Link to CC-BY license.
Users are free to copy, adapt, remix, and redistribute the content. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s). User may not use the content for commercial purposes. Link to CC-BY-NC license.
Users are free to copy, adapt, remix, and redistribute the content - even commercially. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s), and if they choose to remix/build upon the work, it must be distributed with the same license. Link to CC-BY-SA license.
Users are free to copy and redistribute the content - even commercially. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s). The work may not be redistributed with changes. Link to CC-BY-ND license.
Users are free to copy, adapt, remix, and redistribute the content. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s). User may not use the content for commercial purposes. If the user chooses to remix/build upon the work, it must be distributed with the same license. Link to CC-BY-NC-SA license.
Users are free to copy and redistribute the content. User must give appropriate credit to the creator(s). User may not use the content for commercial purposes. The work may not be redistributed with changes. Link to CC-BY-NC-ND license.
Creative Commons also provides licenses for those who want to dedicate their work to the Public Domain (see the Public Domain LibGuide) or for those who want to mark existing Public Domain documents as such.
Use the CC-0 license if you want to waive all your copyrights to that work. This essentially dedicates your work to the public domain and means other people will be able to use it however they like.
Use the Public Domain Mark if you have a work that is already a part of the public domain and you want to make that clear to users. Do not use this designation if you aren't totally sure of the copyright status of the item.
Before you choose a license for your work, you'll want to carefully consider your options. CC license are non-revocable, so it's very important to take this step seriously. Once you have an idea of how you'd like others to use your work, you can attach the license of your choice.
The Creative Commons website has a helpful page that gives information about the different licenses and walks you through the selection process.
Once you've selected your license, CC provides you with code you can embed in your website (which helps with search engine discovery) and icons that you can insert into the item itself. If you are marking a document meant to be shared offline, use the "Help Others Attribute You" box on the license chooser to get a formatted license statement. If you are uploading content to a third party website (like Flickr or Texas ScholarWorks), check to see if there is an option in the upload process for designating a CC license.
The Creative Commons wiki has a helpful page about marking your work with a CC license.
Example of a license on a website:
Example of a license on a text document
If you are reusing CC licensed content from others, you'll want to make sure you provide proper attribution. Ideal attribution includes the title of the work, the author, a link to the source, the type of CC license, and a link to the CC license.
Think TASL - Title, Author, Source, License
Creative Commons wiki with information about providing attribution - including attribution from multiple sources.
Tool from Open Washington that semi-automates the process of creating an attribution.
Developed specifically for Wikimedia content. Cut and paste your URL, answer a few questions, and it will generate a citation for you.
Attribution for an image
"Creative Commons 10th Birthday Celebration San Francisco" by tvol is licensed under CC-BY-2.0
Attribution for a derivative image
This work, "Jetta With Puppies", is a derivative of "A tub full of Goldies" by George Lamson, used under CC-BY-NC-SA license. "Jetta With Puppies" is released under a CC-BY-NC-SA license by Colleen Lyon.
Huge image site with functionality that allows you to limit your results to CC licensed images.
Over 1 million high resolution images that are free to reuse - even for commercial purposes.
Search over 300 million CC licensed images.
After doing a search in Google Images, you can use the Tools tab to sort images by usage rights (usually CC licensed images).
Over 2 million icons with CC licenses.
Our friends at UTRGV created a nice handout with a list of openly licensed image sites, including sites that have images of a diverse range of people.
See the UT-Austin's OER LibGuide for more information on finding CC licensed works for use in the classroom.
Did you know that using music to "set a mood" in a video is generally not considered fair use? Use the sites below to find music that is licensed for reuse.