Creative Commons Licenses

Creative Commons licenses dictate whether a resource can be revised and remixed, as well as whether it can be used by commercial entities.

The two most “open” licenses are CC BY and CC BY–SA because they allow for revisions and remixes along with commercial and noncommercial uses.

Icons of the six Creative Commons licenses.

Explanation of the Six Variations of Creative Commons Licenses
License     
Meaning Which R’s Output Required Action
CC BY Attribution   Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute

Commercial,

Noncommercial

Credit creator.
CC BY-SA

Attribution

-ShareAlike

Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute

Commercial,

Noncommercial

Credit creator

and derivative must be licensed under identical terms.

CC BY-ND

Attribution

-NoDerivs
Retain, Reuse

Commercial,

Noncommercial

Credit creator.

No derivatives.

CC BY-NC

Attribution

-NonCommercial

Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute Noncommercial

Credit creator

and derivative terms can be changed.

CC BY-NC-SA

Attribution

-NonCommercial

-ShareAlike

Retain, Reuse, Revise, Remix, Redistribute Noncommercial

Credit creator

and derivative must be licensed under identical terms.

CC BY-NC-ND

Attribution

-NonCommercial

-NoDerivs

Retain, Reuse Noncommercial

Credit creator.

No derivative.

About Creative Commons

The Creative Commons organization “develops supports and stewards legal and technical infrastructure that maximizes digital creativity, sharing and innovation” in order to “create a vibrant, usable, and collaborative global commons of openly licensed content that drives access, equity and innovation across all disciplines”.

The program areas include licenses and legal tools, discovery and collaboration tools, policy and advocacy, and community building.