A copyright licence is a contract where a copyright owner, which may be a publisher, artist, writer or photographer, has given permission to a person, or an institution, to use their work in a particular way. The licence will stipulate how the copyrighted material can be used, such as whether it can be reproduced and shared online, adapted or modified, reprinted in hardcopy, or only used for a specific period of time.
Most copyright licences are restrictive and are for the use of a part of a publication or creative work by one person in a particular circumstance, for instance the reproduction of a diagram in a thesis.
Works published under Creative Commons licences are applied to works by authors/creators to enable reproduction and sharing under certain conditions.
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 may be permitted to:
Creative Commons licences are internationally recognised and are both 'human readable' and 'machine readable'.
Every Creative Commons licence incorporates three layers
Creative Commons licences all contain one basic condition and/or other core conditions combined to provide different or more restrictive permissions to users. It is important to follow the terms and conditions of each licence.
Attribution - (BY): The core condition by which the user of the work is required to attribute the work to the creator by proper referencing (See example below).
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 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 commercialised.
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 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 that is already in the public domain.
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 used.
References should include hyperlinks to the Source and Licence:
Creative Commons, as an organisation, recommends that institutions, researchers, educators and creators releasing copyright protected works into the public domain use the CC0 public domain dedication.
CCO enables the identification of works that others may freely adapt, modify, enhance and reuse for any purpose without copyright restriction or permission.
This gives creators the ability to waive their copyright ownership and give their work openly and freely to the world.
Creative Commons has set up an easy-to-use 'Licence Features' page to help creators choose the licence most suitable for their work. Creators can select a licence, enter attribution metadata and provides all the information in HTML for pasting into webpages.
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.
This flowchart will help you make a decision.
Provides informative resources about Creative Commons the organisation, global network and the set of licences used to share creative works. The collection consists of presentations, posters, and an infographic. All are available under Creative Commons licences to share and reuse.
Always include the CC licence when reusing, adapting, distributing or citing material with a CC licence.
In the spirit of reconciliation, Bond University acknowledges the Kombumerri people, the traditional Owners and Custodians of the land on which the university now stands. We pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging. Read more
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