C: Creative Commons

Okay, time for the truth about Creative Commons and the answer to:

What does it mean if a photo is released under a CC-license?

While there is no ONE right answer to this question, there are definitely some wrong ones. Let’s consider the questions from my previous post:

* It does more than just tell you the photographer or author.

* You can download the photo for free, but you can’t always do whatever you want with it.

* You do not need to ask permission to use CC-licensed work.

* Sometimes you can alter and even sell the work.

* You never have to pay to use a CC-licensed work.

So, what is Creative Commons and what can you do with these photos? Creative Commons is a non-profit corporation that provides licensing material to creators who would like to share their work for free.

There are 6 licenses that creators can choose and each one has different restrictions. Here’s my summary of each:

  1. Attribution: This lets other people share, use, and alter the work. Others can even build upon your work and offer it commercially. They must, however, give credit to the original creator. This is the least-restrictive license.
  2. Attribution Share Alike: This lets other people share, use, and alter the work. They can also build upon your work and offer it commercially. The new work, however, must not only attribute the original creator but must also be licensed under the same terms.
  3. Attribution No Derivatives: This allows other people to share your work, commercially or non-commercially, but they cannot change it in any way. Credit must be given to the original creator.
  4. Attribution Non-Commercial: This allows other people to share, use, and alter the work. The new work must be for non-commercial purposes and must credit the original creator. (THIS IS THE ONE THAT THIS BLOG IS LICENSED UNDER.)
  5. Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike: This lets others use, share, and alter the work for non-commercial purposes. The new work must be offered under the same terms and credit the original creator.
  6. Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives: This license lets others  share the work for non-commercial purposes. The work cannot be changed in any way and credit must be given to the original creator. This is the most restrictive license.

Wow! Did you have any idea that you could do so much for FREE with other people’s work? More on CC-licensed works and where to find them in a future post…stay tuned.

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