Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that helps creators share their works using Creative Commons (CC) licenses. These licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work on conditions of your choice.

Here is a video explaining Creative Commons licenses in more detail.

How does it work? There are six major Creative Commons licenses that include different combinations of the following four basic requirements:


Attribution: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work—and derivative works based upon it —but only if they give you credit the way you request. This element is a part of all six licenses.

Noncommercial NonCommercial: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform your work —and derivative works based upon it—but for noncommercial purposes.
no derivatives

No Derivatives: You let others copy, distribute, display, and perform only exact copies of your work, not derivative works based upon it.


Share Alike: You allow others to distribute derivative works only under a license identical to the license that governs your work.

Kleinman, M. The Beauty of "Some Rights Reserved,"  C&RL News.  November 2008

Use the CC Chooser Tool to help you select an appropriate license to share your work:

Here are some best practices for attribution of Creative Commons sources