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Open Education Resources (OER)

Creative Commons Visually

CC License Options

About CC Licenses

Creative Commons licenses give everyone from individual creators to large institutions a standardized way to grant the public permission to use their creative work under copyright law. From the reuser’s perspective, the presence of a Creative Commons license on a copyrighted work answers the question, “What can I do with this work?” 

The Creative Commons License Options

There are six different license types, listed from most to least permissive here:

  CC BYThis license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use.

CC BY includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator

 

  CC BY-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.

CC BY-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  CC BY-NC: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

CC-BY-NC includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted

 

  CC BY-NC-SA: This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms. 

CC BY-NC-SA includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
SA  – Adaptations must be shared under the same terms

 

  CC BY-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. The license allows for commercial use. 

CC BY-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

  CC BY-NC-ND: This license allows reusers to copy and distribute the material in any medium or format in unadapted form only, for noncommercial purposes only, and only so long as attribution is given to the creator. 

CC BY-NC-ND includes the following elements:
BY  – Credit must be given to the creator
NC  – Only noncommercial uses of the work are permitted
ND  – No derivatives or adaptations of the work are permitted

 

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication 

  CC0 (aka CC Zero) is a public dedication tool, which allows creators to give up their copyright and put their works into the worldwide public domain. CC0 allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, with no conditions.

Considerations

Choosing a License 

The six licenses and the public domain dedication tool give creators a range of options. The best way to decide which is appropriate for you is to think about why you want to share your work, and how you hope others will use that work. 

For help, try the Creative Commons License Chooser.

Before Licensing

Before you apply a CC license or CC0 to your work, there are some important things to consider: 

The licenses and CC0 cannot be revoked. This means once you apply a CC license to your material, anyone who receives it may rely on that license for as long as the material is protected by copyright, even if you later stop distributing it.

You must own or control copyright in the work. Only the copyright holder or someone with express permission from the copyright holder can apply a CC license or CC0 to a copyrighted work. If you created a work in the scope of your job, you may not be the holder of the copyright.