How and why to make use of Inventive Commons licensed work

Inventive Commons (CC) copyright is a collection of copyright licenses that make it simple for creators to share their work and adapt the work of others. Simply because one thing is on-line doesn’t imply you’re free to make use of it nonetheless you want.

How do I do know if a piece has a CC license?

For those who don’t see a Inventive Commons license on the work or the creator doesn’t let you know their work is free to make use of, you can’t use it.

There are 3 ways to know if a piece has a Inventive Commons license:

  1. You see a Inventive Commons icon like those above.
  2. The textual content says CC BY or one other variation of the above licenses.
  3. Some web sites, like, have an general license for the positioning, so search for that on the backside of the homepage or on the About web page.

Popular culture works are virtually at all times underneath copyright licenses. Generally fanart or works impressed by these properties will likely be incorrectly labeled underneath a Inventive Commons license. This doesn’t imply these works are okay to make use of: solely the unique creator or present copyright holder may give permission to launch their work into the Commons. is an effective place to begin looking for Inventive Commons licensed works.

How does copyright work?

Photographs, artwork, motion pictures, songs, and books all belong to the individuals who made them. When a brand new work is created, the copyright belongs to the creator. The creator has a proper to resolve how their work will (or gained’t) be copied, remixed (modified), and shared. Nobody can use somebody’s work with out permission.

Inventive Commons empowers creators to present implicit permission to everybody to make use of, share, and remix their work with no need to ask in every occasion. Inventive Commons licenses might be multi-layered, permitting kind of freedom.

Inventive Commons license sorts

Inventive Commons 0

  • No credit score is required
  • The work might be remixed
  • The work might be offered

The next licenses might be combined and matched to create six distinctive licenses:

Inventive Commons Attribution

  • You will need to give credit score to the writer
  • The work might be remixed
  • The work might be offered

Inventive Commons Attribution ShareAlike

Articles right here on, with few exceptions, use this license.

  • You will need to give credit score to the writer
  • The work might be remixed; the brand new work should have the identical license
  • The work might be offered

Inventive Commons Attribution-NoDerivs

  • You will need to give credit score to the writer
  • The work can’t be remixed; it might probably solely be used within the authentic means
  • The work might be offered

Inventive Commons Attribution-NonCommercial

  • You will need to give credit score to the writer
  • The work might be remixed
  • The work can’t be offered or used for business functions

How do I give my work a CC license?

The Inventive Commons license chooser makes it simple to use a Inventive Commons license to your work.

Select fastidiously, nonetheless; as soon as a Inventive Commons license has been utilized, it can’t be revoked.

Although not essential, it’s good follow to embed the license and your title into the metadata of the work, so the license follows the work, even when somebody forgets to correctly attribute.

A number of phrases of warning: Logos shouldn’t be Inventive Commons licensed. Fanart of copyrighted materials can’t be Inventive Commons licensed, as you aren’t the copyright holder of the unique work.

How do I share or remix a piece that’s CC licensed?

It is very important embrace the suitable info when you find yourself sharing, repurposing, or remixing another person’s work that’s CC licensed. The CC license they utilized signifies what it’s essential to do subsequent.

Why would I need to share my work with others?

There are various causes to license your work with a Inventive Commons license:

  • Contributing to the tradition of free works
  • Participating followers of your work
  • Making your work simpler to share
  • Comfort: underneath conventional copyright, if you need others to make use of your work, you could grant licenses to every particular person individually, whereas Inventive Commons empowers you to grant permission to everybody mechanically
  • Adaptability: your creation can develop, change, and turn out to be one thing higher than you ever imagined

Can I nonetheless promote my work?

Licensing your work as Inventive Commons doesn’t imply you may’t earn cash out of your creation. For example, a preferred occasion sport, Playing cards In opposition to Humanity, is licensed as CC BY-NC-SA. Gamers have the choice to obtain the sport and print out the playing cards free of charge, or they will purchase professionally printed variations and growth packs.

In 2017, Inventive Commons revealed 24 case research highlighting organizations and companies that use Inventive Commons licenses whereas nonetheless making income. These articles are an interesting take a look at how the Commons efficiently spans know-how, the humanities, and training.


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