Creative Commons is a set of licenses enabling the free sharing and use of creativity and knowledge. This article explains the idea, the licenses and how to use them.
Basically, there are different standard-licenses with the aid of which an author can easily grant rights of use for his/her works. These licenses are not specifically tailored to a certain type of works but can be used for all kind of works, which are subject of copyright, for instance:
The idea behind Creative Commons is, that licenses should be easily applicable for non-professionals and that - in contrast to the classical copyright - no further queries are necessary because the licenses already include all anwers to possible doubts of use.
Creative Commons provides a kit with different license elements:
- BY - Attribution - lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work even for commercial purposes, as long as the author of the original work is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
- NC - Non-Commercial - lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work, but not for commercial purposes.
- ND - No Derivatives - allows for the redistribution - commercial and non-commercial - of an author’s copyright-protected work as long as it is passed along unchanged and in whole.
- SA - Share Alike - lets others remix, tweak, and build upon a work even for commercial purposes, as long as the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.
Combinations of these elements allow for constructing different licenses: Starting from the free CC-BY and ending up with the restrictive CC-BY-NC-ND. The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung has decided to use the licenses CC-BY-SA and CC-BY-NC-ND for works commissioned by or produced for the foundation. That means, that works (texts, images, videos) will be published under these licenses.
When we use Creative-Commons-licensed works created by third parties on our websites or in our publications, there is no restriction concerning licenses that can be/have to be used. However, especially with regard to photos, works licensed under ND must not be used as the ND-license does not even allow for cropping/resizing an image to our default size.
The following licenses are logically possible and legally secure. The link on the licenses takes you to a page, which in detail describes the conditions and provides numerous translations of the license (at the very bottom). It is a good idea to send them to authors as they will explain what Creative Commons means.
- CC-BY - Attribution
- CC-BY-SA - Attribution, Share Alike
- CC-BY-ND - Attribution, No Derivatives
- CC-BY-NC - Attribution, Non-commercial
- CC-BY-NC-SA - Attribution, Non-commercial, Share Alike
- CC-BY-NC-ND - Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives
Here is a video explaining Creative Commons
Creative Commons Kiwi - plccanzWatch on YouTube
If you are interested in the matter of Copyright in general and want to learn more in detail, read the Copyright course.