A copyright licence is a contract where a copyright owner has given permission to a person, or an institution, to use their work in a particular way. The licence will stipulate what a person can do with the copyrighted material such as whether they can scan and share the work online, or reprint it, or use it for a specific period of time.
An example of an institutional copyright licence is the University's statutory licence with the Copyright Agency which gives educators the right to provide 10% or one chapter of a book, or a journal article, for distribution to a class of students via the Library's e-reserve and Leganto.
Creative Commons is an organisation that provides a suite of standardised licences for copyright owners to apply to their creations that permits others to use their work in certain ways. A Creative Commons licence enables a copyright holder to keep their copyright but allows people to copy and distribute the copyrighted work provided they meet the stipulations in the license.
Depending on the chosen Creative Commons licence users can be permitted to copy, distribute, edit, remix and build upon a work. Better still Creative Commons licences are internationally recognised and are not only 'human readable' but also 'machine readable' whilst being based on a legal code.
Attribution - (BY): The basic condition by which the user of the work is required to attribute the work to the author/creator by proper referencing.
Share Alike - (SA): This condition allows copies and adaptations of the work to be reproduced and shared under the same licence.
Non-Commercial - (NC): This condition requires that all uses of the work must be for non-commercial purposes, e.g. educational.
No Derivatives - (ND): This condition does not allow any remixes or derivative copies of the original material to be shared.
BY SA NC ND
All CC licences carry this BY requirement, meaning that anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence allows users to copy, distribute, remix, transform and build upon a work even for commercial purposes.
Anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence allows all CC BY uses and further stipulates that any new works based on the original creation must be licensed under the same terms, i.e. a CC BY-SA licence.
Anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence further stipulates that the material cannot be used for commercial purposes.
Anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence allows distribution and adaptation of the work but only for non-commercial purposes and that the new work must be licensed under the same terms, i.e. CC BY-NC-SA licence.
Anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence allows copying and distribution of the original work but no adaptations or modified versions of the work may be distributed.
Anyone using the work must attribute the work to the original creator. The licence allows copying and distribution of the original work but the material may not be used for commercial purposes and no adaptations or modified versions of the work may be distributed.
Important Note: CC licences can only operate where copyright exists and cannot be applied to a work which is already in the public domain.
Referencing is important. By citing a work/image/video correctly you acknowledge and respect the intellectual property rights of the author/creator/researcher. Works provided under a CC licence require attribution and a link back to the source and CC licence when they are used.
References should include hyperlinks to the Source and Licence:
APA and other styles of referencing CC licenced works are shown on this page.
Creative Commons, as an organisation, has recommended that institutions, researchers, educators and creators wanting to release copyright protected works into the public domain use the CC0 public domain dedication.
CCO allows identification of works that others may freely adapt, modify, enhance and reuse for any purpose without any copyright restriction or permission. This Public Domain Dedication gives creators the ability to waive their copyright ownership and give their work openly and freely to the world.
Creative Commons have set up an easy to use 'Licence Features' page to help creators choose the licence most suitable for their work. The functionality in the page lets creators select a licence, enter attribution metadata and provides all the information in HTML for pasting into webpages.
You may first want to consider what you would like to achieve by sharing your work before selecting one of the six available CC licences. For example, if you want to contribute to a Wikipedia article your work must carry a CC BY-SA licence. See this page for further information.
The Creative Commons Resources collection provides informative resources about Creative Commons the organisation, global network and the set of licences increasingly being used to share creative works. The collection consists of presentations, posters, and an infographic all made available under Creative Commons licences to share and reuse.
Remember to always include the CC licence when reusing, adapting, distributing or citing material with a CC licence.
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