Creative Commons

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What is Creative Commons

Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that seeks to encourage and expand the variety of ways that individuals and companies can develop, share, and use creative works in legal and protected ways. Some might say that Creative Commons is a brain trust moving humankind from necessary limitations resulting from the economics required to develop and distribute create material to a new age where many of these restrictions are gone.

To accommodate today's growing possibilities, Creative Commons has developed several copyright licenses intended to encourage creators to communicate rights they wish to reserve, and rights they waive to promote sharing and enhancement.

Founder of Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig, says these licenses will free today’s creators from a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture that has been perpetuated by traditional content distributors in order to maintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products such as popular music and popular cinema, and that Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions. (Source:Lessig, 2004).

Licenses

Creative Commons has developed several copyright licenses intended to encourage creators to communicate rights they wish to reserve, and rights they waive to promote sharing and enhancement. Founder of Creative Commons, Lawrence Lessig, says these licenses will free today’s creators from a dominant and increasingly restrictive permission culture that has been perpetuated by traditional content distributors in order to maintain and strengthen their monopolies on cultural products such as popular music and popular cinema, and that Creative Commons can provide alternatives to these restrictions.

The following are brief descriptions from the most open to the most restrictive licensing forms:

Attribution: Release of copying, distributing, displaying and performing the copyrighted work (and derivative works)…but only if author is credited.

Attribution Share Alike: Release of distribution of derivative works under a license identical to license governing author’s work. Attribution required. Similar to open source software licenses.

Attribution No Derivative Works: Release of rights to copy, distribute, display and perform only “verbatim copies” of the work, not any derivative works. Attribution required.

Attribution Noncommercial: Release of rights to copy, distribute, display and perform the work (and derivative works) for non-commercial purposes. Attribution required.

Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike: Allowance of remixing, tweaking, and building on an original work non-commercially as long as byline crediting exists and licensure of new creations based on identical legal terms. Release of rights to translate, remix and produce new objects from the work. Continuance of non-commercial status of derivative works.

Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives: Allowance of downloading and sharing of works with attribution, but without any changes to the original work. Known as the “free advertising license” as a benefit to authors.

See Also

Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/

Creative Commons License Conditions: http://creativecommons.org/about/licenses/

Intellectual Property

References

Lessig, Lawrence (2004). Free Culture. New York: Penguin Press.