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Creative Commons

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Creative Commons licenses are composed from different combinations of four basic conditions.

Creative Commons licenses were created to foster creative collaboration and encourage people to opt for the loosest possible restrictions while balancing that against any rights they feel they absolutely must retain.

Creative Commons licenses address four conditions that may be applied:

  • Attribution - others may copy, distribute, display, and perform your copyrighted work and derivative works based on it as long as they give you credit the way you request. (Patterns in the Yahoo! Design Pattern Library) require attribution only.
  • Share Alike - others may distribute derived works based on yours but only if they use the identical license terms.
  • Noncommercial - others may copy, distribute, display, and perform your work and derivative works based on it but only for noncommercial purposes.
  • No Derivative Works - others may copy, distribute, display and perform only verbatim copies of your work.

Creative Commons Licenses

Based on those four conditions, there are six non-public domain CC licenses you can choose from or offer as choices for your users:

Attribution - This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered, in terms of what others can do with your works licensed under Attribution.

Attribution Share Alike - This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial reasons, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. This license is often compared to open source software licenses. All new works based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also allow commercial use.

Attribution No Derivatives - This license allows for redistribution, commercial and non-commercial, as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole, with credit to you.

Attribution Non-Commercial - This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, and although their new works must also acknowledge you and be non-commercial, they don’t have to license their derivative works on the same terms.

Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike - This license lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work non-commercially, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms. Others can download and redistribute your work just like the by-nc-nd license, but they can also translate, make remixes, and produce new stories based on your work. All new work based on yours will carry the same license, so any derivatives will also be non-commercial in nature.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives - This license is the most restrictive of the six main licenses, allowing redistribution. This license is often called the “free advertising” license because it allows others to download your works and share them with others as long as they mention you and link back to you, but they can’t change them in any way or use them commercially.

Sources

  • Portions of this entry are adapted from content at the [Creative Commons] website, published under the Creative Commons Attribution License.