Control content rights when sharing

Use Creative Commons, alternative to copyright

Image of Creative Commons organization

The non-profit organization Creative Commons (CC) goes beyond traditional copyright convention to promote sharing and use either with or without some rights reserved. Originators of images, text, research, data, science, audio, video and music choose rights and the appropriate Creative Commons logo to mark their decision to provide materials for public domain, require attribution, allow modification or commercial use. Further, creators can stipulate modification for internal use only, sharing under a similar license, or sharing of derivative works without restrictions.

For example, using the first license below, a company would allow content from its website to be shared, as long as users provide attribution.

These Creative Commons logos help users quickly identify materials and the initiator’s level of permission.

The descriptions of each of the licenses below. Each license deed is a link to a “human readable,” or easy-to-understand version of the actual legal code behind the next link.

Attribution: CC BY

Image of Creative Commons Attribution logo

All CC licenses require that others who use your work in any way must give you credit the way you request, but not in a way that suggests you endorse them or their use. If they want to use your work without giving you credit or for endorsement purposes, they must get your permission first.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Attribution-NoDerivatives: CC BY-ND

Image of Creative Commons NoDerivatives with Attribution license logo

This license requires not only attribution, but also that no modifications of the work be made.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Attribution-ShareAlike: CC BY-SA

Creative Commons ShareAlike with Attribution license logoYou let others copy, distribute, display, perform, and modify your work, as long as they distribute any modified work on the same terms and give credit.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike: CC BY-NC-SA

Image of Creative Commons NonCommercial-ShareAlike with Attribution license logoYou require credit, let others copy, distribute, display and perform only original copies of your work, however, not commercially. They must also share with similar restrictions.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives: CC BY-NC-ND

Image of Creative Commons NonCommercial-NoDerivatives with Attribution license logoYou require attribution; you don’t allow commercial use or any modifications to your work.

View License Deed | View Legal Code

Public domain: CCO

Image of Creative Commons public domain license logoNo rights reserved. You allow free use, remix, sharing, even commercially and without credit.

Click here to get Creative Commons wording for display in various uses: website, blog, image, presentation, audio, video, data set or offline document.

Protect your business and assets with appropriate licenses. Use tools, such as Duplichecker to monitor for plagiarism.


Read instructions and use the Creative Commons license chooser to generate code for your website:

Download Creative Commons license logos here.


Read more:

Creative Commons types of licenses

Instructions to indicate Creative Commons licenses in audio and video files




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