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Creative Commons

Licensing Does Not Take Away your Copyrights
Licensing your copyrighted works does not remove your ownership rights - you still own the copyrights to licensed works. In fact, licensing is impossible without copyright.

Licensing Does Not Remove your Credit
Licensing is intended to give creators an option to share their work while complying with copyright. Every CC license requires attribution, so you will still get credit for your work.

Licensing Does Not Affect Exceptions and Limitations to Copyright
If your use of licensed material is allowed because of an exception or limitation such as fair use, you don’t need to rely on the license or comply with its terms and conditions.

Licenses Do Not Apply to Works in the Public Domain
Works in the public domain are not protected by copyright, therefore they cannot be licensed.

Source: Creative Commons

Creative Commons Licenses have a three layer design:

Source: Creative Commons

1. The legal code - the "lawyer readable" terms and conditions that are legally enforceable - serve as the base of all of the licenses. The other layers can't exist without the legal code.

2. The most well-known layer is the "human readable" common deeds. These are the legal code summarized and they lay out the key license terms.

3. The "machine readable" layer allows software to read and recognize CC licensed material.

Each CC License is all made up of a combination of four elements or conditions:

 This symbol means Attribution or “BY.”  
 
All of the licenses include this condition.

 This symbol means NonCommercial or “NC,” which means the work is only     available to be used for noncommercial purposes.
 Three of the CC licenses include this restriction.
 Note: there are many versions of this icon to be used in areas with various   currency symbols. See Downloads for more options.

 This symbol means ShareAlike or “SA,” which means that adaptations   based on this work must be licensed under the same license.
 Two of the CC licenses include this condition.

 This symbol means NoDerivatives or “ND,” which means reusers cannot   share adaptations of the work. 
 Two of the CC licenses include this restriction.


There are six licenses, shown here from least to most restrictive. If you want assistance selecting a license, see the Choose a License Tool.

The Attribution license or “CC BY” allows people to use the work for any purpose as long as they give attribution to the creator.

The Attribution-ShareAlike license or “CC BY-SA” allows people to use the work for any purpose, as long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they share with others available under the same or a compatible license.

The Attribution-NonCommercial license or “CC BY-NC” allows people to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the creator.

The Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license or “CC BY-NC-SA” allows people to use the work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the creator and make any adaptations they share with others available under the same or a compatible license.

The Attribution-NoDerivatives license or “CC BY-ND” allows people to use the unadapted work for any purpose, as long as they give attribution to the creator.

The Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license or “CC BY-NC-ND” is the most restrictive license offered by CC. It allows people to use the unadapted work for noncommercial purposes only, and only as long as they give attribution to the licensor.

 

Public Domain Tools

 CC0 (CC Zero)

This tool enables creators to dedicate their works to the public domain to the greatest extent possible

Public Domain Mark

This label is used to mark works known to be free of all copyright restrictions. It is not a legal tool and has no legal effect when applied to a work. Its purpose is to serve as a label to inform about its public domain status.